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.
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.