September 22, 1997
I, like many concerned citizens of Duvall, attended the meeting at Cedar Crest High School on Sept. 10th. This meeting was about the novelty hill bridge replacement and other King County road improvements that are or will be taking place in and around our city. My main concern, as it was with others, is the "inconvenience" that we will all experience during the year that this project will take to complete. There are just a few problems that I have, chewing on what we as a community are supposed to swallow, according to Rep. Louise Miller who hosted the event.
First, she trivialized the bridge being out for a year as an "inconvenience." This is a huge understatement at best. Six months would be an inconvenience, a year is ridiculous and the fact that it will probably take an additional 3 to 6 months makes it worse. Someone suggested that there be some incentive for the contractor to finish on time which everyone seated in the gymnasium grandstands wanted, but instead what we heard was some political mumbo-jumbo about why they thought this would not be possible. Apparently, this isn't possible in Duvall where there aren't any state representatives or congressman living but it is possible in Magnolia where there are probably several living. We'll categorize this one as "Things that make you go Hmmm!"
Next, we heard Louise quickly pat herself on the back when the subject of our traffic light in Duvall was brought up. She stated that she "fought for us" to get us that light. That's great, but why is it on a timer and not an actuated light like every other light in all the other King County cities. We pay taxes too! You can sit at that light coming from Woodinville at night for 3 to 5 minutes while 2 cars come by on highway 203! I say let's get that light actuated now, who is with me?
We also were shown a conceptual picture of what the new bridge will look like and we were told how aesthetic it will be and how much more it will cost to make it look nice as opposed to a concrete bridge. Who cares what it looks like, it's a bridge and the only ones who will be looking at it are cows. Save the money and time and build a pre-formed concrete bridge.
We can all understand that this bridge needs to be replaced, as it is old, narrow and dangerous. We know we will have to live with the inconvenience while the new bridge is being constructed. However, the detour route through the city of Duvall, then left onto the Woodinville-Duvall road bridge and another left onto West Snoqualmie Valley road will be unbearable unless there are actuated lights at both intersections! How much study does it take to figure this one out? If you want to study this in action, come on down to Duvall and observe the intersection of 124th (novelty hill bridge) and Highway 203 without a light on Friday evening Sept. 19th. This is the first evening of the weekend with the other bridge closed. You will see people coming to that stop sign with half their hair pulled out because it took 45 minutes to get across the valley (about 400 yards) and turn onto a busy highway 203! Figure it out King County and Rep. Louise! If you need help I'll be there.