Planners steer dollars to Issaquah-area road upgrades

October 26, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Oct. 26, 2012

Issaquah-area road projects received a green light to proceed — and more than $3 million — Thursday, after planners approved a regional transportation program.

Puget Sound Regional Council leaders recommended funding for projects on Southeast May Valley Road, Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast, West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast and, on the Sammamish Plateau, 228th Avenue Southeast.

The lineup includes projects just outside Issaquah city limits, but none inside the city.

Some dollars for the projects come from $440 million in federal funds distributed by the planning authority for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties. State gas tax revenue and local funds then cover the remaining project costs.

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Group recommends dollars for Issaquah-area road projects

October 2, 2012

Planners recommended more than $2 million Sept. 13 to help fund road projects in the Issaquah area, including upgrades to West Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast, Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast and Southeast May Valley Road.

The projects could garner a small slice of more than $440 million in federal funds proposed by the Puget Sound Regional Council — the planning authority for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

The planning agency is considering transportation improvements throughout the region. Citizens can comment on the proposals through Oct. 25, the day the agency’s executive board votes on a regional transportation plan.

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Group recommends funds for Issaquah-area road projects

September 13, 2012

NEW — 8 p.m. Sept. 13, 2012

Planners recommended $1.1 million Thursday to complete road projects in the Issaquah area, including upgrades to Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast and Southeast May Valley Road.

The projects could garner a small slice of more than $440 million in federal funds proposed by the Puget Sound Regional Council — the planning authority for King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

The planning agency is considering transportation improvements throughout the region.

In the Issaquah area, planners proposed $824,586 to preserve Southeast May Valley Road from state Route 900 to 229th Avenue Southeast in unincorporated King County.

Planners also recommended $315,414 for road overlay, or paving, along Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast.

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King County expects layoffs, reduced road maintenance

September 4, 2012

King County expects to lay off 54 road workers and officials said the lack of attention on roads could mean further deterioration.

Dow Constantine

Kathy Lambert

Officials also plan to leave 11 vacant jobs unfilled — for a total reduction of 65 jobs in the county Road Services Division — due to a drop in tax revenues. The reduction is expected to go into effect early next year, as the 2013 budget goes into effect.

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced the reductions Aug. 23. The loss of funding could mean reduced maintenance to correct problems, such as potholes, and a slower response during snow and ice storms.

The county is responsible for about 1,500 miles of roadway, but the reduction in revenue means less maintenance, especially of roads in rural areas.

The road overlay program is shrinking. Officials said only 11 miles of deteriorated roadway could be repaved before year’s end. In the next budget cycle, the county might not have any local funding for paving, unless officials gain additional revenue sources.

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King County expects layoffs, reduced road maintenance

August 24, 2012

NEW — 11 a.m. Aug. 24, 2012

King County expects to lay off 54 road workers and officials said the lack of attention on roads could mean further deterioration.

Officials also plan to leave 11 vacant jobs unfilled — for a total reduction of 65 jobs in the county Road Services Division — due to a drop in tax revenues. The reduction is expected to go into effect early next year, as the 2013 budget goes into effect.

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced the reductions Thursday. The loss of funding could mean reduced maintenance to correct problems, such as potholes, and a slower response during snow and ice storms.

The county is responsible for about 1,500 miles of roadway, but the reduction in revenue means less maintenance, especially roads in rural areas.

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King County considers cell tower proposal

August 7, 2012

King County is considering a proposal from AT&T to add antennae and equipment to the existing cell tower at 14327 228th Ave. S.E., on Squak Mountain near the Trinity Tree Farm.

AT&T applied to the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services to add three antennae, six remote radio heads and a surge protector to the tower.

The tower is about a mile west uphill from the Tiger Mountain Country Store at Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast and Cedar Grove Road Southeast.

Residents can send comments about the proposal to DDES — Building and Fire Services Division, 900 Oakesdale Ave. S.W., Renton, WA 98057-5212. The public comment period ends Aug. 16.

Citizens can also review the application at the Renton office.

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King County plans summer timber harvest near Issaquah

June 4, 2012

NEW — 11:30 a.m. June 4, 2012

King County announced June 1 a summer timber harvest on Taylor Mountain near Issaquah.

The planned harvest encompasses about 66 acres in the 1,845-acre forest. Officials said the harvest includes poor-quality maple, and overmature and dying alder trees. Plans call for crews to then plant a mix of Western red cedar, Douglas fir and Western hemlock, depending on specific site conditions.

Officials said most of the conifers within the identified harvest area should not be cut, except for trees severely infected with root rot.

Eatonville-based Erickson Logging, Inc. is conducting the harvest operation. The sale of harvested logs is expected to generate $75,000 for county officials to manage forestland.

The activity is expected to start in June or early July, depending on rainfall, and should last up to six weeks.

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Motorists encounter fallen trees on local, regional roads

January 19, 2012

State Route 900 remains barricaded at midafternoon Jan. 20 to motorists wanting to go southbound past Northwest Talus Drive, a day after a downed tree blocked access to the urban village. By Greg Farrar

NEW — 1:15 p.m. Jan. 19, 2012

State transportation officials said the ice after a major snowstorm continues to create difficult driving conditions throughout the region.

Department of Transportation planners said frigid temperatures should continue to cause harsh conditions throughout Thursday.

“We had our crews out all night de-icing the roads. We threw everything we had at this storm — sand, de-icer, salt and plows,” Regional Maintenance Manager Dave McCormick said. “It’s so widespread that it’s been very difficult to keep up.”

State Route 900 is closed at Southeast May Valley Road. State Route 18 remains closed from Auburn Way and Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast due to multiple downed trees for several miles. State Route 202 is closed between Fall City and Snoqualmie due to downed trees. The roads should remain closed for several hours.

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King County road crews report ‘very treacherous’ conditions

January 19, 2012

NEW — 8:30 a.m. Jan. 19, 2012

King County Road Services Division crews reported “very treacherous” road conditions Thursday morning due to additional snow and freezing rain on local roadways.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Transportation extended the closure of state Route 18 from Interstate 90 to Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast from the interstate to state Route 164 in Auburn — a 22-mile stretch.

City crews reopened Newport Way Northwest from Northwest Oakcrest Drive to state Route 900 by 8:30 a.m. after a downed tree prompted a closure.

Though city, county and state crews continue efforts to keep major arteries clear for motorists, drivers should expect icy conditions on less-traveled roads. County crews reported problems related to downed trees and limbs from heavy ice accumulations.

More rain or freezing rain is in the forecast for the next several hours, s0 motorists should use extreme caution on local roads. If possible, officials urged people to postpone trips until later in the day after temperatures inch upward.

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Ice poses travel risk; motorists should check conditions before driving

January 19, 2012

NEW — 8:15 a.m. Jan. 19, 2012

The state Department of Transportation is urging motorists to use extreme caution due to ice on roadways from freezing rain.

The agency closed state Route 18 between Interstate 90 and Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast shortly after 6 a.m. because ice knocked about two dozen trees onto the roadway. Fallen trees also led to road closures inside Issaquah city limits.

Officials also received reports of downed trees on other Western Washington roadways, prompting some lane and road closures. Elsewhere, the number of spinouts and cars in ditches increases as the morning commute continues.

Drivers should expect added delays and check road status as transportation crews close highways until the threat of falling tree limbs passes.

The ice also caused power outages throughout the region. Puget Sound Energy reported 582 customers in Issaquah without power by 8:10 a.m.

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