May Valley Road traffic will get worse before it gets better

July 29, 2014

Southeast May Valley Road has been down to only one lane near the 22500 block for months, and it may stay like that for a while.

A March downpour led to a landslide and damaged the road, causing pavement to crack and settle, according to the King County Department of Transportation website. For safety reasons, the county closed the road and installed a temporary signal to shift traffic.

“This was kind of an act of God,” King County road engineer Rick Brater said. “After the prolonged rains we got last winter, we start to see these slides happen. We have a lot of roads that are old, and it’s in these areas where we have found unsteady ground.”

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Issaquah-Hobart Road paving begins soon

May 26, 2014

NEW — 6 a.m. May 26, 2014

Roadwork on Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast has caused traffic snarls as the county prepares to repave a section of the two-lane road.

For the past few months, crews have performed grinding on the road shoulders in preparation for repaving in June, according to the King County Department of Transportation website. The county restricted to the road to one lane.

Travelers should expect delays and use caution. King County Department of Transportation spokesman Jeff Switzer said the schedule for the repaving will depend on weather and progress, but should begin in June.

King County plans to repave two local roads

August 20, 2013

Only a handful of roads are on the county’s summer paving program, including Southeast May Valley Road and Issaquah-Hobart Road.

In late September, depending on the weather, 3.41 miles on Southeast May Valley Road, from state Route 900 to 229th Drive Southeast, is planned to be paved.

In 2014, 1.56 miles of Issaquah-Hobart Road, from the Issaquah city limits to Southeast 132nd Way will be paved, with preparation and paving occurring at night.

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Emergency repairs will close Southeast Preston-Fall City Road from July 8-12

July 7, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. July 7, 2013

Southeast Preston Fall-City Road will close for five days, from July 8-12, due to deteriorating road conditions.

Drivers will face a potential 12-mile detour that could take up to 20 minutes, according to the King County Department of Transportation.

Ground water near the roadway has caused the drainage system and edge of the roadway to settle and sink. Crews will replace the damaged drainage system.

This emergency work will require the closure as a culvert is replaced in the 7600 block of Southeast Preston-Fall City Road. Learn more here.

MAP-detour-Preston-Fall-City

Snow causes few disruptions for Issaquah residents

December 25, 2012

Snow crept into forecasts in recent days, but aside from a dusting in higher-elevation neighborhoods and a delay for Issaquah School District students, winter weather did not cause significant disruptions in the area.

In response to slushy conditions on roads and some snowfall overnight, school district administrators delayed the start of school two hours Dec. 18. The day before, as forecasters issued a winter weather advisory for Western Washington, Issaquah and King County road crews prepared for snow.

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State awards more than $3.5 million for local bridge projects

November 29, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Nov. 29, 2012

The state Department of Transportation awarded more than $3.5 million to Issaquah and King County to replace aging bridges, officials announced Wednesday.

The projects — a plan to replace the Northwest Dogwood Street bridge in downtown Issaquah and a plan to redo a bridge across 15 Mile Creek at the base of Tiger Mountain — received a portion of $130 million in federal funds to repair or replace aging bridges.

Replacing the Northwest Dogwood Street bridge across Issaquah Creek is a long-held goal among city officials, but a lack of funding prevented the project from proceeding in the past. The city project is in line to receive $2,254,400 in federal funds.

Reconstruction is meant to help reduce flooding by creating more capacity for the creek beneath the replacement bridge. The project could also add safer access for pedestrians — a change from the narrow bridge in place now.

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Crews gird for snow removal before flakes start to fall

November 27, 2012

The mercury dips a little lower as November turns to December, winter starts in mere weeks, and the agencies responsible for ensuring roads remain passable in ice and snow readied removal plans for the months ahead.

Issaquah, King County and the state prepare detailed ice and snow response plans long before the flakes start to fall. The agencies face challenges in Issaquah and the surrounding area due to steep terrain, narrow roads and limited funding.

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King County executive proposes $20 fee to fund roads

October 9, 2012

Unincorporated King County residents could pay a $20 vehicle license fee next year to shore up road maintenance in rural areas.

Dow Constantine

King County Executive Dow Constantine recommended the fee in the proposed 2013 budget. The fee is projected to raise $4.5 million to fund road projects in unincorporated areas, such as Klahanie, May Valley and Preston in the Issaquah area.

The alternative could mean reduced maintenance to correct problems, such as potholes, and a slower response during snow and ice storms.

Still, county leaders need about $50 million to $65 million per year to maintain the 1,500-mile road network in unincorporated King County.

“The fee won’t be enough, not by a long shot. But it’s the only remaining authority left to counties by the Legislature,” Constantine said in a Sept. 24 budget address to the King County Council. “The system for funding local transportation in Washington state is broken. Everybody knows it. We have a 1930s revenue system to fund 21st century transportation needs.”

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King County executive appoints emergency management director

August 29, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 29, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine appointed local crisis manager Walt Hubbard to lead the county Office of Emergency Management.

Hubbard served as acting director at the agency for the past several months, since former Director Hillman Mitchell departed for a private sector job. Officials selected Hubbard after a nationwide search, and Constantine announced the appointment Tuesday.

“Walt brings a wealth of experience and strong local relationships that will help us protect residents and businesses in the event of disaster,” he said in a statement.

King County faces risks from earthquakes, floods, terrorism, volcanic eruptions and numerous other threats, both natural and manmade.

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County to make safety improvements near Liberty High School

June 19, 2012

King County road crews plan to make safety improvements near Liberty High School soon.

The county King County Road Services Division received federal grant funding to complete the project east of Renton. Crews plan to restripe the westbound lanes at the intersection of 168th Avenue Southeast and Southeast 128th Avenue Street — north of Liberty.

Get involved

Submit comments about the project by June 29 to Community Relations, King County Department of Transportation by phone at 206-263-9770, by email to community.relations@kingcounty.gov or by mail to 201 S. Jackson St., MS: KSC-TR-0824, Seattle, WA 98104.

Learn more about the project at www.kingcounty.gov/transportation/kcdot/Roads/Construction/ConstructionProjectsOther/HighwaySafetyProgram.aspx.

Plans also call for the existing traffic signal to be changed to provide a left-turn signal. Expect improved pedestrian facilities to result from the project, too.

Officials expect the changes to reduce the number and severity of rear-end collisions involving motorists waiting to turn left from Southeast 128th Avenue Street onto 168th Avenue Southeast.

In the existing arrangement, a curve limits the visibility of vehicles stopped in the inside westbound lane. Advance warning signs and flashers located east of the intersection should help alert westbound motorists of changes and the need to merge to the right.

Construction is expected to begin by September and be completed by the end of the year. Students return to Liberty and other Issaquah School District campuses Sept. 4.

No full road closure is expected as crews complete the work. Expect to see project signs on the approaches to the intersection to alert motorists a few weeks prior to the start of construction.

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