Lake Alice Connector Road Opening, Detouring Possibly 1,400 Daily Car Trips Through Snoqualmie Ridge

King County officials stated at a public meeting last night, that emergency repair of a culvert beneath Lake Alice Road has to happen now.  A large drain pipe under the road is collapsing.  If it fails, a 35’ deep pond of water would back up, leading to a washout of  Lake Alice Road.

In order to close Lake Alice Road and repair the culvert, a possible 1,400 (estimate not certainty) daily car trips will be detoured through Snoqualmie Ridge and out to Snoqualmie Parkway.

King County estimates the 200 Lake Alice homes affected by the road repair closure (making multiple daily trips to and from home), along with postal routes, garbage service, school bus routes, etc. could amount to 1,400 extra car trips per day through Snoqualmie Ridge.  Other detour options considered were either just not possible or too expensive.

Lake Alice emergency connector road at end of Sorenson cul de sac in Heights neighborhood.

The county did alter the planned detour slightly so as to affect fewer homes on Carmichael.  Only 29 homes facing Carmichael will be now be impacted versus 70 with the original detour route.

The detour route will use the Lake Alice emergency connector road to access a cul-de-sac on Sorenson Street, then use a shorter stretch of Carmichael to travel through the back side of Carmichael Park and access a currently closed portion of McCullough Road. The county will open this section of McCullough, allowing for a shorter detour distance through the Heights neighborhood, and connecting McCullough to Douglas in the Silent Creek neighborhood.

The first phase of the Lake Alice road repairs, and temporary fix, will begin toward the end of October and last about 2-3 weeks.  The permanent culvert repair will happen next summer and last about 3 months.  The detour route will be used again during that longer repair in the summer of 2013.

Lake Alice and Snoqualmie Ridge meeting attendees both expressed displeasure with the road detour. They wanted assurance that the road will be closed again as soon as the culvert is repaired.  The county said they will use a gate and signs to close the emergency connector road when the work is complete.

Meeting attendee and Douglas homeowner, Debbie Mulligan said, “This really does not only affect those who live on Sorenson and Douglas. It affects everyone who tries to get their kids to school and off to work.”

Douglas Ave is the main access road through the western portion of Snoqualmie Ridge.  Cascade View Elementary School (approximately 700 students) also sits on the corner of Ridge and Douglas, with the school’s drop-off/pick up entrance located off Douglas Ave.  During morning commute hours and school drop-off time, the street gets congested.

Snoqualmie Mayor Larson says, “Public Works will monitor the increased traffic. We will do additional patrols and place the radar speed trailer on Sorenson Street. Detour signs and reduced speed limit signs will be added where necessary.”  He then added, “The experience during the first phase will allow us to measure real impacts in order to make improvements for the second phase.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. This is a wake up call!

    I went to a public meeting last night and came away with facts, and a concern about who has my back on this one.

    Facts:

    In two weeks, there will be a traffic detour from the Lake Alice Road through the Ridge of an estimated 1,400 cars per day!

    It will last for about a month and then the same thing is planned to happen again next summer for 3-4 months.

    The reason is valid, a culvert on the Lake Alice Road is collapsing and needs repairs.

    There appears to be no other viable options, short of costing another million dollars (exact figure quoted at the meeting) except to dump the traffic through the Ridge, now for a temporary patch and for 3-4 months next summer during a permanent fix.

    I get that.

    Concern:

    But my issue is with the perceptions expressed by county staff that it won’t be a big deal and the traffic flow will be fine and everything will work out fine.

    I was equally concerned about the “silence” implied perception of the the city council and mayor who attended, a public forum, but chose not to speak out, nor make known their involvement or perceptions to date, or attempt to express any of the obvious potential impacts or planned mitigation of the impact on the city or its citizens. What better opportunity to raise a flag or two? I appreciated their sacrifice of an evening, but where were their voices?

    My personal perception is that things will not be fine and that there will be a physical major traffic flow bottle neck on the narrow Sorenson street, with rippling effects on school busses, police resources, neighborhood safety and pavement deterioration, to say nothing of the effects on commute time, impacts on two quiet neighborhoods of opening up the emergency access and creating a 1,400 cars per day “street” out of what is now an overgrown paved pathway in back of Carmichael Park.

    Who has our backs on this? I currently have neither the personal time or resources to get deeply involved. That is what I trust my elected representatives to the ROA, city and county to do.

    Not a single elected official from the city, county, or ROA Homeowners Association spoke at last night’ public meeting! Why not? It was a public forum. Most who attended got a chance to speak 2-3 times.

    Have they been involved behind the scenes, or as was somewhat implied, at one point in the meeting, that the final decision from the county might have been withheld until the last minute due to the political sensitivity of the history surrounding this issue?

    I have not seen or received any notices from the city or the ROA, that we will have huge traffic revisions in two weeks, so I assume their plan is to just leave it up to the county since they are not responsible for creating the problem and simply deflect discussion on the potential impacts and leave owners and citizens to simply deal with it on the first day when detour signs go up since they did not create the problem and there is no other way out?

    The county staff, in all fairness, did indicate that there will be an impact, but felt it could be more than managed by simply opening up the street in back of Carmichael park ( Which is currently an overgrown paved pathway they simply plan to mow) and enlarging the intersections at the top and bottom of Sorenson and Lake Alice Road. I hope they are right, but sincerely doubt it, but then they are the professionals, so we shall see.

    I count on my elected officials of the city and the ROA to have the connections established and be watching and doing what they can to protect our safety and control our traffic. So where are they on this one? If they have been and are aware and involved, then thanks. If not why not?

    In two weeks, this will absolutely destroy the quiet cul-de-sac at the end of Sorenson which has maybe 20 cars a day, kids constantly playing in the dead end street, and is one of the most quiet peaceful places on the Ridge.

    However, overnight, it is planned to become a “Douglas on Steroids” street with 1,400 cars a day in front of the houses. The children are instantly going to “adjust to the new traffic?” This will have only a “minimal” impact that needs no real mitigation, the drivers will be able to “adjust their driving habits quickly” and it requires no more notice from the city or input from the ROA???? At least the county held a public meeting!

    How can this not affect school bus routes and stops at this end of the Ridge? Dump trucks already have to back and fill just to get around the end of the cul-de-sac. How is this not going to result in a severe bottle neck when the current paved pathway steeper than any street on the ridge? How is this not going to create traffic jams at the two lights controlling access for everyone on the Ridge when you add another 1,400 cars? How is this not going to increase the already backed up lanes at Exit 25? What am I missing?

    About 6-8 people from the Ridge attended the meeting along with 20 or so from Lake Alice area? They are concerned about their cars impact on us as well as their increased commute time and possible traffic jams. Did everyone get a postcard from the county as some did? The local paper had a small buried article on it. Nothing on the Yahoo groups until the day of the meeting.

    Is the ROA board even aware of it? Have they been seated at the negotiation table as has the Home Owners Association of Lake Alice residents in the discussions of the detour’s impact and the long term solution for the emergency access problem? Why not?

    Have our elected city officials been involved in mitigating the impacts on our city’s resources? Has it even been mentioned at a city council meeting? If so, my bad for not being there, but if not, why not?

    Who is paying for the extra police enforcement, ware on the roads, safety adjustments for Carmichael Park, etc.

    Who is willing to step forward and spearhead the citizen action committee on this one? I am personally swamped.

    Have you heard from our elected representative to the county council?

    Who is willing to attend the City Council meeting next Monday to ask these questions?

    Democracy is not a spectator’s sport, get involved.

    Email your city council and ROA board members. Addresses are on the websites of the city and ROA. City council meeting is next Monday at 7:00.

    Jack Webber

    • Hi Jack. Thanks for your involvment in this. I live with my family off of McCullough so I don’t want you to think I’m commenting without being affected, but it sounds like there is no other option here. My feeling is that even if things are annoying for the time it takes to repair this major problem for our neighbors, I don’t want the city to spend more money then it already has to on a temporary traffic fix.

      Hopefully everyone cooperates and the work will get done in less time than anticipated. 🙂

  2. Jane Storrs says

    Typical City of Snoqualmie ‘Leadership” (or total lack thereof.) Shocker: You elected politicians. Not leaders. They don’t care what your communities face. It’s all about their image. Pathetic.

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