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Kingswood residents waiting for asphalt

Kingswood road repairs by Jeff Switzer
With complaints of tar-stained carpets and damaged automobiles and worries about their children's safety, parents in the Kingswood Valley development marched on City Hall again last Monday.
   In total, 16 residents came to the Woodinville City Council study session June 3 to air their frustrations with the city's paving job of their neighborhood streets and to find out exactly when it would be fixed.
   Last fall, after the first round of protest, city staff had indicated that a 1 1/4-inch asphalt overlay would be applied by May 31 over the bad chip-seal job, the gravel from which has become loose, leaving a sticky-tar and loose-gravel roadway. According to the contract, a one-inch overlay of Class-G asphalt will be used, "smoother and tighter-grained so the surface won't be as rough."
   At the meeting, Joel Birchman, Public Works director, told the council and the citizens the contract has been signed and work is expected to begin by June 21, with completion expected within 15 "good weather" days.
   "This should give us at least a 20-year life in that neighborhood, which is outstanding," said Birchman.
   The council spent time individually apologizing for the inconvenience of the mistake, adding their personal pledge to complete the project as soon as possible.
   "We are feeling very frustrated," said Pat Graves, a resident of the development. "You (the council) are frustrated, but you are not living there. I'm sick of hearing all of the excuses. If I never hear the words 'weather permitting' again, I will be the happiest person. We don't want letters; we don't want apologies; we want our street back."
   Graves and Kent Parkinsen, another resident, brought some "show and tell" for the council by way of the gravel peeling up off the surface and the tarlike substance on the curbing and allegedly in Parkinsen's home.
   The residents had approached the council last November with their concerns, and councilmembers and staff visited the neighborhood to inspect the job. Based on the results, the council and staff resolved to not do "chip-sealing in neighborhoods," as that type of road requires more traffic to compact it than found in neighborhoods.
   Hossein Barahimi had some sage advice for the council.
   "When you make a promise, keep that promise," Barahimi told the council, reiterating that the new paving was supposed to be completed by May 31. "We have been living with the problem and we have kids that we have to worry about."
   Councilmember Lucy DeYoung gave the residents a pledge.
   "When we get done (with this project), the City Council will come to your neighborhood for a tour and you show us what's left over and we'll figure out how to fix it," she told them.