On Monday, December 26, 2011, we drove the short length of Washington State Route 166, to Port Orchard.
State route No. 166:
A state highway to be known as state route number 166 is established as follows:
Beginning at a junction with state route number 16 in the vicinity west of Port Orchard, thence northeasterly to the eastern Port Orchard city limits as they exist on June 10, 2010.
Down on the shores of Sinclair Inlet, a bit east of Gorst along SR 16, Highway 166 begins.
The highway gradually slows down as we wind along the water, passing many docks and marinas. Welcome to Port Orchard! See their classic, old-fashioned city hall. A block from the water is the old downtown, decked out for the holidays. This happens to be the halfway point of SR 166, and so a photo is taken.
Just past Blackjack Creek, Highway 166 leaves Sinclair Inlet and heads up the hill. We spin off a roundabout heading due east. After a string of fast-food restaurants, grocery stores, and cut-rate auto parts, we reach the "End 166" sign. 800' or so later, we reach the end of the highway, at the eastern city limit of Port Orchard. The 800' was added last legislative session because the city had previously expanded and expected the state to maintain the road, but WSDOT was only maintaining to the old city limit, and Kitsap County, who had been maintaining the 800' beforehand, wasn't going to maintain a road within the city limits. Apparently that section of road got very beat up over a few years. It still has more potholes than the sections on either side.
For a highway that exists on the books only because Port Orchard was not willing to take responsibility for the landslide-prone road when the state moved SR 160 from this route to another route further south, twenty years ago, it's a rather nice drive. Especially the landslide-prone section along the water.