Fish project prompts Interstate 90 lane closures

July 17, 2012

Motorists should expect lane closures on eastbound Interstate 90 near Issaquah as crews remove a narrow culvert — a barrier to fish.

To complete the $2.8 million project, crews must work double shifts in order to wrap up construction before Aug. 31. The deadline is tied to the return of chinook and coho salmon, and steelhead, to the East Fork of Issaquah Creek.

The state Department of Transportation alerted motorists to prepare for closures through 3 p.m. July 20. Crews plan to reopen the lane for afternoon travelers and then close the lane again from July 21-27.

The project location is east of Highlands Drive Northeast and the Sunset Interchange between Issaquah and Preston.

Officials do not expect the closures to cause traffic backups. In the westbound direction, around-the-clock closures started several weeks ago.

Transportation planners envision a wider replacement to better accommodate the 25-foot-wide streambed in the area near the culvert.

The existing culvert impedes salmon and trout headed to historic rearing and spawning grounds.

Firefighters rescue man after car splashes into pond

November 29, 2011

Firefighters pulled a man from a half-submerged car in a downtown Issaquah retention pond Nov. 23.

The elderly man had been driving erratically before the car headed off East Sunset Way and into the pond beneath the Interstate 90 Sunset Interchange at about 10:20 a.m. Eastside Fire & Rescue crews freed the man from the waterlogged car.

Medics transported the man to Group Health Bellevue Medical Center. EFR spokeswoman Josie Williams said the man did not sustain serious injuries and remained conscious during the rescue operation.

EFR Chief of Maintenance Kelly Refvem had been driving behind the man as the car slipped into the waist-deep water. Refvem called in the incident and aid vehicles responded moments later.

“He was only in water that was waist-deep, but I’m sure it was pretty cold,” Williams said.

Crews rescue elderly man after car winds up in retention pond

November 23, 2011

NEW — 11:25 a.m. Nov. 23, 2011

Firefighters pulled a man from a half-submerged car in a downtown Issaquah retention pond Wednesday morning.

The elderly man had been driving erratically before the car headed off East Sunset Way and into the pond beneath the Interstate 90 Sunset Interchange at about 10:20 a.m. Eastside Fire & Rescue crews freed the man from the waterlogged car.

Medics transported the man to Group Health Bellevue Medical Center. EFR spokeswoman Josie Williams said the man did not sustain serious injuries and remained conscious during the rescue operation.

EFR Chief of Maintenance Kelly Refvem had been driving behind the man as the car slipped into the waist-deep water. Refvem called in the incident and aid vehicles responded moments later.

“He was only in water that was waist-deep, but I’m sure it was pretty cold,” Williams said.

Uncover the dark side of Issaquah

February 15, 2011

Vehicles streak through the darkness in downtown Issaquah. By Greg Farrar

The tree-lined suburb of today evolved from a frontier town of sinister secrets

Welcome to Issaquah!

On your left, you’ll see the Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-In!

On your right, you’ll find the Village Theatre!

Oh look, over there is the beloved Issaquah Salmon Hatchery!

A typical tour of town might go something like that, detailing the proud past of a historic city.

What about the strange, seedy and sinister history of this former frontier town? What about the ominous undertones? Not many tours take you down the alleys of the city or expose what had been its underbelly.

But this one does, and it will tell you about some of the most notable incidents that occurred here in the decades after white settlers arrived in the 1850s. Murders. Bombings. Fires. Explosions. Abductions. Plus, plenty of other mayhem.

Get in your DeLorean and prepare to tickle your morbid curiosity, because we’re headed straight to the past and into the dark side of Issaquah.

Read more

Issaquah tragedies, triumphs define a tumultuous year

December 28, 2010

Traffic lines up on state Route 900 at Northwest Talus Drive in February. State Department of Transportation crews completed the long-running project in 2010. By Greg Farrar

The economy lurched from the recession, population growth all but stalled and Issaquah — after cutbacks and setbacks in 2009 — defied the odds to reach major milestones throughout 2010.

Momentum returned in 2010 after a year spent in a holding pattern. Set against the backdrop of a fragile recovery, leaders cut the ribbon on businesses and roads, laid the foundation for preservation and construction, and marked tragedies and successes. Read more

City decides to keep current truck route in place

November 23, 2010

The city has decided the truck route through downtown Issaquah should stay put.

The truck route starts at the Interstate 90 interchange on East Sunset Way, and then runs along Newport Way Southwest to Front Street South and the southern city line.

Council Transportation Committee members discussed the proposal Nov. 3, but as the committee chairman — Councilman Joshua Schaer — noted at a City Council meeting last week, officials decided to keep the existing route in place. Read more

East Sunset Way interchange construction concludes

October 26, 2010

Contractor steered clear of planned road closures

The completed East Sunset Way approach to Interstate 90 features wider lanes, road shoulders, curbs and a sidewalk. Photo by Greg Farrar

The state project to remake the cramped East Sunset Way approach to Interstate 90 has been completed on time and under budget to the delight of drivers and transportation officials.

Read more

City asks for input about truck routes

September 14, 2010

City planners could redraw the routes large trucks use to travel through Issaquah.

Before the city takes action, officials encourage residents to offer feedback on proposals. The city has received feedback from residents concerned about truck noise, air pollution and the number of trucks along East Sunset Way. The soon-to-be-completed East Sunset Way approach to Interstate 90 has also raised concerns about increased truck traffic, after crews finish the upgraded roadway.

The truck route for the street starts at the I-90 interchange, and then progresses along Newport Way Southwest to Front Street South and the southern city line.

The route and state Route 900 remain the only approved north-south routes in Issaquah.

In late spring, state Department of Transportation crews completed the yearslong effort to widen state Route 900. The road can better accommodate larger trucks.

Read more

Issaquah traffic snarled after truck overturns at Highlands Drive exit

September 14, 2010

A truck that overturned with a load of steel beams on the Highlands Drive exit of Interstate 90 lies on its side as incident crews, firefighters and police work the scene. By Washington State Patrol

Traffic was snarled in Issaquah for hours after a flatbed tractor-trailer carrying a load of I-beams overturned on Highlands Drive Northeast at Interstate 90’s Exit 18, scattering I-beams across the overpass.

The accident occurred at 5:07 p.m. Sept. 7 in the middle of the afternoon commute.

Police and fire agencies closed the interstate for 40 minutes at Exit 18, causing traffic heading east to back up for about seven miles, to near Exit 11. Read more

Dual road projects snarl East Sunset Way

August 17, 2010

Flaggers help drivers navigate the East Sunset Way construction site as state crews widen the temporary, two-lane approach to the Interstate 90 interchange. By Greg Farrar

Drivers must steer through a construction gauntlet along East Sunset Way during the weeks ahead, as separate projects add space to the cramped street.

Construction crews in safety orange and heavy equipment line the road from Interstate 90 to Second Avenue to complete state and Issaquah School District plans.

Read more

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