Snoqualmie Ridge – Lake Alice Connector Road May Open

The history of Snoqualmie Ridge includes the long-debated Lake Alice connector road topic, as the two communities sit only yards apart.

When Snoqualmie Ridge was originally developed, an interlocal agreement was established between Snoqualmie, King County and Lake Alice residents stating there would be no connecting road between Snoqualmie Ridge and the Lake Alice community.

At that time, concerns from the Lake Alice community were maintaining its rural appeal and that Ridge residents would use Lake Alice Road, which is not designed for heavy traffic, to access Fall City.

In 2001 that agreement expired, so as Snoqualmie Ridge Division II was being developed, the connector road topic resurfaced.  Lake Alice residents and the Snoqualmie City Council eventually agreed on an emergency connection.  In 2004, that emergency-only connecting road was paved between the Heights neighborhood and Lake Alice.

Over the next week, King County will hold two public meetings to collect public input on opening that long-debated Lake Alice – Snoqualmie Ridge connector road so its Road Services Division can temporarily close Lake Alice Road to make emergency road repairs to a failing culvert beneath Lake Alice Road SE at 339th Ave SE.

If the emergency connector road is opened as a detour route, residents from about 200 Lake Alice Homes would temporarily use SE Sorenson Street (Heights neighborhood) and connecting streets through the Snoqualmie Ridge community (Carmichael, Douglas Ave) to Snoqualmie Parkway.  Sorenson, where the emergency road connects, is a quiet, dead end residential street.

Lake Alice connector road at end of Sorenson Street in Snoqualmie Ridge Heights Neighborhood

According to the King County County Transportation Department, “Though a permanent culvert is planned in summer 2013, interim drainage improvements are needed immediately. The culvert’s deterioration has accelerated and interim drainage improvements will reduce the chance of the road failing if the culvert should collapse or be blocked. These improvements must be completed before the rainy season begins to protect the roadway.”

The two public input meetings are scheduled for this Wednesday, September 26th, at Fall City Elementary, 6 – 7:30PM and Tuesday, October 2nd, in Snoqualmie City Hall Council Chambers from 7 – 8PM. King County will collect and consider community input regarding its proposed emergency detour route before finalizing.

Notification post cards went out to affected homes last week. If residents have concerns, feedback or questions,  these meetings are a chance to have a say and hear the details and timeline for the proposed closure and an ensuing detour route.

Snoqualmie Ridge resident Debbie Mulligans says she plans on attending.  “As someone who lives on Douglas and would certainly notice that extra traffic, I am wanting to make sure that they are considering all solutions.  There are so many kids that use that road [Douglas Ave] as their path to school, practice, etc.  I just want to be sure those things are all taken into consideration when they make their decision.”

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  • How ironic…

    The Lake Alice residents were/are most adamant about not letting Ridge residents drive through their neighborhood. Now they want/need to drive through ours. We of course should let them to demonstrate our welcome/sharing spirit!

    1. This should get interesting. I live in the Heights and there have been so many times I wish I could just go that way to get into Fall City. I think I’d be for a more permanent road as long as GPS units don’t start routing random people from Snoqualmie Parkway to Fall City that way. Seems like if it was truly local traffic the increase wouldn’t be too bad… but I’m no traffic engineer.

      As for the temporary access, seems like a no brainer. There isn’t many houses and since the culvert work is being done it can’t be used as a cut through between FC and Snoq. It is ironic though. 🙂

  • Mr. Lamb I believe most residents of the Lake Alice area still do not want to increase traffic, noise, nor the danger of adding many more drivers onto the very narrow and sharply winding Lake Alice Road any more than the residents on Douglas (or the rest of the Heights community) want the extra traffic and noise. However the county has identified an urgent and immediate need for it, temporarily, so as not to impose any long-term hardship on either community long term. There are other options that will be discussed at these meetings (such as cutting a road through PSE property), though provisionally opening/connecting this road that is already in place does seem most logical and least expensive to the county.

    I hope the discussions about this topic will show consideration for all sides and well as a bit of charitable reflection for these folks who are literally going to be cut off from their community through no fault of their own. Also, it really isn’t up to us how this pans out. The county is kind enough to take into consideration all the voices of those who’d like to share it, but ultimately they have the final say-so.

  • There is so much development now that we long-timers have to adjust or it may make us ill. Fact: our paradise is lost forever. As for this traffic issue, it happened not long ago, when The Uplands was developed. The Uplands (i.e., where Brad and Jenn purchased land from a local I know personally, and where Martha Steward reputedly purchased land) is located on a hilltop cradled between Wilderness Rim and the round-about in North Bend at I-90. The Uplands and The Rim are more elevated than The Ridge. For a long time the denizens of The Uplands were up in arms about connecting to Wilderness Rim; they didn’t want “those people” driving through their little corner of their exclusive universe. They even had a 10′ wooden locked gate to keep the Rim people out! There was one confrontation that I personally know of: an attorney friend of mine, who lives in the Rim, was stopped by an Uplands denizen and accosted for driving on – the road for which we all pay taxes, ahem – ‘his’ road. He was trying his best to keep the riff-raff out of his paradise. As it turns out, about the only time there is heavy traffic through The Uplands is during a heavy snowfall or flooding below and the denizens from below cannot get out of their area. Bottom line: we long-timers need to cede control of our environment, which we have loved for decades and generations, to the newcomers because it’s gonna happen anyway. Maybe petition for a better road. I don’t like it either, but adjust we must because more newcomers are coming into the valley each year, and each wave has their own spin on how things “should” be. Both sides need to find inner peace and forgiveness for one another, and be more sympathetic and RESPECTful of each others ideologies and needs.

  • Living Snoqualmie