After Oso, fears of local landslides arise

April 8, 2014

After the devastating Oso mudslide March 22, long-held fears arose in Issaquah.

“It’s scary,” resident Philip Cherian said about the large hill steeply rising over Southeast Black Nugget Road, blocked from the roadway, Home Depot and Fred Meyer by a wall. “We live in the area and drive by there, and you can see water seeping through.”

Rapid earth movement at that site, and at others around town, has long been a concern for the city. Public Works Engineering Director Sheldon Lynne said the city has remained vigilant over the Southeast Black Nugget Road site, performing studies on the private property.

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King County commits $70,000 to repair city’s retaining wall

September 6, 2011

King County recently agreed to fund repairs to a decade-old retaining wall along Southeast Black Nugget Road as city planners seek to shore up the structure against landslides.

The city closed the sidewalk along the wall in March after soggy conditions caused a small landslide on the slope behind Fred Meyer and The Home Depot. The shifting earth did not pose a risk to motorists or residences atop the hill, but the incident refocused attention on plans to strengthen the wall.

County officials committed $70,000 for upgrades. The project could cost up to $640,000 for substantial renovations. The city is setting aside funds to complete the project in the years ahead.

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Georgia property manager sells Issaquah offices for $32 million

July 7, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. July 7, 2011

The hillside office center behind The Home Depot sold Wednesday for $32 million.

The former owner, Piedmont Office Realty Trust, sold the 156,323-square-foot building to The Lake Washington Land Co., a Washington-based business.

The building at 22833 Southeast Black Nugget Road — officially the Eastpointe Corporate Center — had long been nicknamed for Boeing, a tenant. The building site encompasses 5.79 acres.

Eastpointe Corporate Center opened in 2001 and Piedmont acquired the building in 2003. The property management company is based in Johns Creek, Ga.

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City raises Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road speed limit

June 28, 2011

Motorists no longer need to clamp down so hard on the brake on a steep section of Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road.

On June 20, City Council members raised the speed limit from 35 mph to 40 mph on a section from East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast to the eastern city limits near the 238th Avenue Southeast intersection. The faster speed limit took effect June 25.

City crews plan to post signs featuring the 40 mph limit along the affected roadway. The sign replacement should cost about $350.

Before the decision, planners commissioned a traffic engineering study for Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road between East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast and Southeast Black Nugget Road, and between Southeast Black Nugget Road and Southeast Issaquah-Pine Lake Road to determine whether a 35 mph speed limit remained appropriate.

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City raises Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road speed limit

June 22, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. June 22, 2011

Motorists no longer need to clamp down so hard on the brake on a steep section of Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road.

On Monday, City Council members raised the speed limit from 35 mph to 40 mph on a section from East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast to the eastern city limits near the 238th Avenue Southeast intersection. The faster speed limit goes into effect Saturday.

City crews plan to post signs featuring the 40 mph limit along the affected roadway. The sign replacement should cost about $350.

Before the decision, planners commissioned a traffic engineering study for Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road between East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast and Southeast Black Nugget Road, and between Southeast Black Nugget Road and Southeast Issaquah-Pine Lake Road to determine whether a 35 mph speed limit remained appropriate.

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City closes sidewalk due to landslide risk

April 12, 2011

Groundwater seeps through the timber retaining wall, and a pedestrian sidewalk is closed along Southeast Black Nugget Road at Southeast 62nd Street. By Greg Farrar

The chain-link fence erected along the Southeast Black Nugget Road behind Fred Meyer and The Home Depot raised questions among motorists concerned about possible landslides.

City Public Works Engineering Director Bob Brock said municipal crews added the fence late last month as a precaution amid the risk for small landslides. The city is also addressing long-term issues related to the retaining wall along the same stretch.

“We’re trying to investigate what we can do to stop the earth movement above the wall, which is a separate issue from the wall itself,” Brock said. “The wall is in no danger of coming down, it’s just that it’s got a reduced lifespan because of some of things that were not done per plan.”

Instability on the slope is common after soaking rains, but city officials said the slippage does not pose a risk to the residences perched above Southeast Black Nugget Road. Way Back Inn, a Renton nonprofit organization, owns the land on the slope.

“It seems like this year, we’ve had a lot more water. It’s moving a little bit more and it’s got some fluidity to it that it didn’t have before,” Brock said. “So, as a precautionary measure, we closed the sidewalk just on the off chance that something might fall over the top of the wall there.”

Crews also planted stakes in the hillside to track shifts in the slope. The fence and the stakes attracted attention from Klahanie resident Sandi Dong.

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County transfers 1.07-acre parcel to Issaquah

February 15, 2011

King County leaders adopted a measure Feb. 7 to transfer a small parcel of land to Issaquah.

The wedge-shaped parcel consists of 1.07 acres along the 23600 block of Southeast Black Nugget Road between Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road and Highlands Drive Northeast. The property includes a storm water pond.

The ordinance adopted by the council authorizes King County Executive Dow Constantine to execute the land-transfer agreement.

The storm water pond on the land provides important drainage for sections of Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road and Southeast Black Nugget Road inside Issaquah city limits. Issaquah has agreed to take on the parcel and to maintain the storm water pond.

The county acquired the land more than a decade ago for a road-improvement project. Issaquah then absorbed the area as part of the North Issaquah annexation.

Through the annexation, the city also took ownership of the road right of way, but the county did not transfer the parcel to the city as part of the shift.

King County aims to transfer land to city

February 1, 2011

King County intends to unload a small parcel to Issaquah soon through a routine land transfer.

County Council members intend to shift the land to Issaquah more than a decade after the city annexed the surrounding area.

The wedge-shaped parcel consists of 1.07 acres along the 23600 block of Southeast Black Nugget Road between Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road and Highlands Drive Northeast. The property includes a storm water pond.

The council has scheduled a Feb. 7 public hearing on the deal as part of the procedure for land transfers.

Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger described the hearing as routine, and said she expects the transfer to be completed.

The storm water pond on the land provides important drainage for sections of Southeast Issaquah-Fall City Road and Southeast Black Nugget Road inside Issaquah city limits. Issaquah has agreed to take on the parcel and to maintain the storm water pond.

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Issaquah on ice: Snowstorm snarls traffic, prompts school closures

November 30, 2010

Ryder Marin, 9, of Issaquah, starts to spill after becoming airborne on the Issaquah Community Center hillside Nov. 23. ‘All the snow comes straight up in my face and I can’t see very well,’ he said. By Tim Pfarr

The nightmare occurred long before Christmas — and before Thanksgiving.

Issaquah and the Puget Sound region slid to a halt during a fall snowstorm Nov. 22. The storm snarled commutes for Issaquah residents and prompted road crews to toil through Thanksgiving to clear streets. The poor conditions interrupted the regional transit system and left riders huddled in bus shelters. The fallout sent shoppers scrambling to stores for emergency supplies and Thanksgiving staples.

The mercury dipped into the teens and 20s — record cold temperatures — in the days after the storm and turned roads icy.

“People were very understanding of the situation,” Issaquah Police Patrol Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum said. “I think a lot of people were just trying to get home Monday night.”

Some motorists abandoned vehicles and turned road shoulders along Highlands Drive Northeast, Newport Way Northwest and Southeast Black Nugget Road into impromptu parking lots. Police impounded more than 30 vehicles in travel lanes as conditions deteriorated Nov. 22.

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Investigators identify suspect in bear shooting

November 23, 2010

State Department of Fish and Wildlife investigators last week identified the person believed to be responsible for shooting a black bear in Issaquah in mid-November.

Veterinarians later euthanized the bear cub, because a bullet wound had left the animal paralyzed.

State wildlife agents had not released the name of the suspect by Nov. 22. Capt. Bill Heibner credited residents in the neighborhood near Highlands Drive Northeast and Southeast Black Nugget Road for offering tips to aid the investigation.

“We did have help, not just from neighbors, but also from others in the community that had heard or seen things,” he said. “That was extremely helpful in this investigation, and we appreciate the public’s support for giving us tips and leads like that.”

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