State hosts meetings on Interstate 90 tolling proposal

January 15, 2013

The state Department of Transportation is evaluating potential impacts of tolling Interstate 90, and the public can learn more about the proposal at a series of meetings on the Eastside and in Seattle.

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National Weather Service issues overnight wind advisory

January 2, 2013

NEW — 10:30 p.m. Jan. 2, 2013

National Weather Service meteorologists issued a wind advisory late Wednesday for the Puget Sound lowlands, including Issaquah, and said residents can expect gusts up to 55 mph.

Forecasters in Seattle issued the advisory just after 9:30 p.m. Forecasters issue a wind advisory if the possibility exists for sustained winds of 30 to 39 mph and gusts of 45 to 57 mph. The advisory is in effect until 6 a.m. Thursday.

Residents should expect sustained winds up to 20 to 35 mph, and gusts up to 55 mph. The winds could cause difficult driving conditions along Interstate 90, particularly in the North Bend area and eastward toward Snoqualmie Pass.

Conditions could also cause smaller tree branches to drop and power outages.

City Council questions Interstate 90 tolling proposal

January 1, 2013

The prospect of tolling on Interstate 90 received a cool reception from the City Council, as state officials consider the idea as a way to generate dollars for the state Route 520 bridge replacement project.

The state Department of Transportation is at work on a $4.1 billion project to replace the 49-year-old floating bridge across Lake Washington and overhaul the 12.8-mile corridor between Interstate 5 in Seattle and state Route 202 in Redmond. The floating bridge is scheduled to open in traffic by early 2015.

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Editorial

January 1, 2013

2013 goals are imperative for Issaquah

Our news staff and editorial board put their heads together each year to create a list of 2013 goals for the Issaquah area. Some are repeats from former years, but are still waiting to be accomplished.

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Crews to start trail project near Sunset Elementary School

January 1, 2013

Motorists should prepare for changes along West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast near the Issaquah School District’s Sunset Elementary School, as crews start work on a $4.8 million project to add a trail for bicyclists and pedestrians.

The initial phase encompasses a section of roadway between Interstate 90, near the Issaquah-Bellevue line, to Southeast 34th Street in Bellevue.

Under a plan approved Nov. 5 by the Bellevue City Council, crews from Tacoma-based Active Construction plan to add a multipurpose trail separated from vehicle traffic by a landscaped buffer. Plans also call for crews to add pedestrian crossings along the north-south corridor.

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State planners offer tools to ease holiday travel headaches

December 26, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 26, 2012

The state Department of Transportation delivered gifts to holiday travelers — tips to avoid travel-related headaches.

The agency offers numerous travel information tools for motorists headed out between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Travelers planning to hit state highways can find information on the Department of Transportation website about the times and places drivers can expect to experience holiday weekend delays, including U.S. 2, Interstate 90, and Interstate 5 at the Canadian border, and between Olympia and Tacoma.

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Issaquah milestones from 2012 reflect challenges, changes

December 25, 2012

Backhoes from Santana Trucking & Excavating dig June 26 at the southeast corner of the intersection of Northeast High Street and Highlands Drive Northeast, as construction starts on the Issaquah Highlands retail center. By Greg Farrar

Challenges — whether economic, political or social — defined the year.

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City OKs buildings up to 125 feet tall in business district

December 25, 2012

Redevelopment plan calls for more than 7,000 residences

City leaders raised the building height limit to 125 feet in the business district and raised the stakes for redevelopment in the decades ahead.

The roadmap to redevelopment — a document called the Central Issaquah Plan — also creates a framework to add more than 7,000 residences on about 1,000 acres stretched along Interstate 90.

In a series of decisions reached Dec. 17 after years spent re-envisioning the business district, a relieved City Council adopted the Central Issaquah Plan, but delayed action on a key piece until at least April.

“It’s the right plan at the right time,” Councilman Fred Butler said. “It will not happen overnight, but when the time is right, we will be ready.”

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City Council approves pact to transform gravel quarry to urban village

December 25, 2012

The gravel quarry carved into the hillside below the Issaquah Highlands is poised to transform into businesses and homes in the next 30 years, after the City Council approved a landmark development agreement to reshape the area.

The landowner and quarry operator, Issaquah-based Lakeside Industries Inc., proposed the pact last year for about 120 acres on both sides of Highlands Drive Northeast. The council approved the development agreement Dec. 17, despite concerns about building height, traffic congestion and contamination in the Lower Issaquah Valley Aquifer, a key drinking water source for the city.

“There was a lot of push and pull, a lot of compromise, and I think it’s an agreement that both is good for my family and is also good for the city of Issaquah, and that we will live to see a development on this site that enhances the city,” Lakeside Industries CEO Tim Lee said before the unanimous council decision.

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Police arrest Issaquah man after high-speed chase

December 18, 2012

Deputies arrested a 27-year-old Issaquah man on Tiger Mountain just after noon Dec. 13, after the suspect led police on a high-speed chase and the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter detected the man in a thick forest.

The incident started just before noon in the 19500 block of Maxwell Road Southeast, in unincorporated King County northeast of Maple Valley. Investigators said a deputy patrolling the neighborhood spotted a man attempting to break into a house.

The suspect noticed the officer, ran to a car and fled. The deputy stopped the vehicle moments later near Southeast 208th Street and Maxwell Road Southeast, about a half-mile northeast from the interchange of Southeast Renton-Maple Valley Road and state Route 18.

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