Save the Burley Lagoon

What is the best solution for Burley Lagoon/ 302?

  • Build North of the lagoon by building a road off Hwy16

    Votes: 15 34.9%
  • 302 is fine the way it is don't do anything.

    Votes: 4 9.3%
  • Just destroy the lagoon and build a bridge through the middle of it

    Votes: 24 55.8%

  • Total voters


New Member
For those of us that like to fish the Purdy spit area or cruise around in the Burley Lagoon or are just concerned about protecting our precious fisheries in the Puget Sound this is for you.

Our great state, in an effort to improve traffic on 302 to the Key Peninsula is proposing some options to route traffic across the lagoon with another bigger and longer bridge than the Purdy bridge. Not only is this a major impact on the environment, the fishery, the wetland, etc the bridge options are about $200 million more than just building a wider road and off-ramp north of the lagoon.

I live on the Burley Lagoon and I am very active in protecting the environment and it's existing native salmon and cutthroat trout runs.

I am 100% behind improved traffic flow to the Key Peninsula, but not at the expense of this highly sensitive wildlife estuary.

Please visit this website for more information and public comment. I want this great public access spot outside of Burley producing nice fishing habitat for my children.

If you know anyone with pull at the state, WADOT or county send them a note to protect this fishery and to not build a bridge!

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope to see you on the water.

Milt Roe

Active Member
Dude - What exactly do you believe will happen negatively to the fish with any of those options? You are a fire bell ringer but there's no evidence of a fire. Burley lagoon has a bunch of hatchery fish, a small native coho, chum, and chinook run, and a fair number of cutts. The oyster farm there helps make it a priority for water quality. Building the bridge over it seems like a low impact issue. There's already a bridge over it. What's the crisis? Sounds like an aesthetics issue for you. I sit there and waste gas waiting for the light to change. I'd like it fixed with a new bridge. The spit there would be better for it.

Jim Speaker

Active Member
I hate the existing bridge - that's a narrow little s.o.b... with nasty wind and rain at night it's a little gripping when you're crossing with scads of oncoming headlights. If there is serious environmental impact to be considered, let's see some evidence. I didn't see anything compelling at the link provided, a lot of generalization about the puget sound and seemed more oriented towards "it'll cost too much..."

Anyways, damned if I wouldn't enjoy a better bridge there. That one sucks.
I would love to have a new Purdy bridge, that bridge is old,narrow,congested and UGLY! I nearly go over it everyday. I'd have to say I'm all for it and build, build, build!

Jim Speaker

Active Member
Wow, I didn't even pay attention to the poll the first time I read this. I was forced to choose "Just destroy the lagoon and build a bridge through the middle of it" thanks to the language chosen by Sonny, master of 2 posts.


MA-9 Beach Stalker
I like the narrow existing bridge and the bad traffic at Purdy, it helps to limit development. I liked having just the old Tacoma Narrows bridge too, but that bottleneck has been eliminated. The more development that spreads into the distant reaches of Puget Sound, the more rapid the collapse of spawning habitat for salmon and cutthroat. If you love a place, visit it often but don't move there (similar to relationships).


New Member
Please understand that I too want a solution. I have to sit in the traffic just like the rest of you. It is dangerous and a waste of time.

However, there are better choices. The growth in the area is only going to increase and the bridge choices do not take into consideration that growth. Both bridges tie into the areas around the schools (which will also be growing in acres), both bridges are by far the most expensive alternatives, and I personally don't think it will help in the long term with safety (one of the DOT's main concerns). The new bridges are much higher than the old and the fog around here is dense and common (such as last night)!

This will not be an aethetic issue for me as I will be displaced. I will then most likely have to move onto the Key Peninsula and will be just as interested in a long term solution for traffic in my new neighborhood.

Going just a mile north around the lagoon is the most economical, safest, and best alternative for growth. It not only saves us money (and what about tolls, don't you think there is going to be a toll for the $250+ million dollar bridge, DOT already has in place the Good To Go program), but will cause less accidents, and creates more alternatives if we need to grow in the future.

Thanks for considering my rant!


"Chasing Riseforms"
Sounds like a "bridge to nowhere" if you ask me. Waste of money. New bridges and better bridges bring more population growth. I prefer using the money to build a bridge to "Bainbridge Island"!!! The State could then eliminate the Bremerton Ferry run!! But you rich BI'ers will always get your attorneys to continue to nix that plan... :p


Active Member
Now what would be cool is to drop some Jersey Barriers in the neck of water underneath the bridge so we have some play waves to kayak surf on!

Milt Roe

Active Member
Better argument. But still, I don't think a new bridge will necessarily be a big threat to the fish. You have to make the convincing argument from another position -water quality, engineering, long-term transportation needs. I'm sure DOT will get an earfull and consider the options. Upper option still has impacts to the estuary...

If it weren't for the HWY 302 corridor there, most people wouldn't be able to fish there anyway. I remember digging steamers down there 40+ years ago. So the HWY actually helped public access once upon a time.


New Member
Water quality? Consider a new four lane bridge, inviting much greater volumes of traffic with all the storm water run off taking car pollutants and de-icing into this shallow lagoon that does NOT flush well. This is a past Superfund Site that is just now recovered. Take a step back for a second and consider that it is possible for a new bridge to be built in place at the mouth of the lagoon with a much smaller impact. At least there the runoff can be directed into Henderson where the water depth, quantity and tidal action can dilute and flush more effectively (if you really need to add more into the Sound that is). My view is that a replacement in place, but a two lane that meets the standards of today's building tied to turn out lanes and minor lane widening to 118th, plus a second off ramp from 16 North of the lagoon that goes to Spruce and Pine with turn lanes and minor widening there is a realistic and low cost option.

Who here really thinks that the act of driving pilings through 150 feet of clay to bedrock (this thing sits on a fault line) and stirring up layers of PCP ridden siltation makes any sense?

There are better answers than adding to the suburban sprawl that this kind of mindless WSDOT engineering delivers. Heck, most of the new growth in the area is already known by local and county government (and in the WSDOT documents) to be to the North anyway. 30% of current bridge travellers come from the North now, not from the Tacoma area.

There are solutions that alleviate sitting in traffic, I suggest looking into it a bit deeper. And for those here who imagine that there is no impact, consider that in Puget Sound already 73% of saltwater marshlands like Burley Lagoon have been destroyed by development. It is time to stop that. The Southern Orcas are dying from toxic Puget Sound salmon. This is the science. Don't believe it? Then bring the data that backs any other assertions.
Holy hell, it appears you just joined the forum to post that. Friend of Sonny's?

My original point was simply that Sonny's 2nd post was to create a "poll" with wording that makes you appear evil if you choose an option not to Sonny's liking. Now here comes Sonny's bud with a bunch of science and the notion that bringing data in re to other assertions has anything to do with the believability of what you've posted? I think the believability of "facts" presented in a post like this would be better managed by the author posting footnotes. As mentioned previously, the only link provided was to a site that was extremely one-sided (of course) but also very general... didn't see any of this "information" that you are providing now. If there's really a problem and y'all are so passionate about it, provide some better links to some solid information?

Mike T

Active Member
The greatest threat to water quality in the lagoon has been, and continues to be, failing and sub-standard septic systems.

Where do you get PCB's in Purdy Lagoon? There's been no industrial activity in that area, that sounds like a scare ploy. The oysters harvested from there have a good history of being healthy and fit for human consumption.

I grew up in Gig Harbor and now work there. I know people who have been injured and killed on the winding hill above the spit. This is not just a question of convenience, but one of safety. The whole road up to Lake Kathryn Village needs to be widened and jersey barriers installed.

I too would prefer surface bypass above the lagoon looping back onto the Key Pen Hwy at Lake Kathryn, if just for aesthetics sake. We don't need another concrete eyesore on the sound, but the arguments presented by Jan and Sonny sound too much like "nimbyism"!
Gig Harbor is growing and the people on the Key Peninsula & South Kitsap deserve safe access to services, get over it. I'm not for a bridge but I am for a roadway that's safe and large enough to efficiently handle the growth of that area.
I actually agree Mike, in that it doesn't need to be a bridge - fine, route most of the traffic around. Works out better for me when I'm driving that way. The fact remains that is a dangerous little bridge and the hill above the spit can be gnarly with darkness and weather. Maybe that has something to do with this being perceived as a viable option by DOT as they'd be killing 2 birds with one stone, just thinking out loud...

Mike T

Active Member
The existing bridge can't be expanded upon as it's in some sort of hysterical register as the last remaining concrete bridge of it's type. How taxpayer funded pieces of infrastructure can't be amended or destroyed to benefit the taxpayer is beyond me. I'd be thrilled with the destroy option if they build above the lagoon.

If you want to know who's driving the bus for a new bridge it's the DOT who want to maintain their budgets, the major construction companies who need the contracts and the unions who want the work for their members. With the incestuous relationships that exist between the DOT and the construction companies and the politicians & the unions I think we're likely screwed on this one.

Perhaps they'll hire the same architect that did the Alaska Way Viaduct? It won't last long and when it falls it will provide good structure. Is that looking on the bright side??

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