Contaminated soil found at Overlake Center site

March 22, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 a.m. March 21, 2009

Workers are taking steps to prevent groundwater contamination after old tires and a leaky metal drum were unearthed at a construction site along East Lake Sammamish Parkway.

City Public Works Engineering Director Bob Brock said city officials took precautions because the debris was uncovered near a well that serves the Overdale neighborhood. Debris had not contaminated the well, he said.

“You want to take extra steps to preclude anything from happening,” he added.

A construction crew discovered the debris within the past three weeks at the Overlake Center site, 5700 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway, near the intersection of the parkway and Southeast Black Nugget Road. The drum was leaking an unidentified whitish material, Brock said. Contaminated soil was collected for analysis.

The developer, OB Frank Properties, is working with city and state Department of Ecology officials to remove debris and clean up the contaminated soil.

The site, once owned by Puget Sound Energy, encompasses 13.3 acres. Brock described the debris field as an old dumpsite. Contamination is more common on former industrial land, he said.

Plans for Overlake Center call for seven buildings and about 115,000 square feet for tenants. Overlake Medical Center Issaquah will be the main tenant of the completed project. Other tenants will include Bartell Drugs and 24 Hour Fitness.

Cleanup could slow construction, Brock said. In November, the medical center announced it would move into the new development by summer.

“Any delay now is going to cost them time on the other end,” Brock said.

Reach Reporter Warren Kagarise at 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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