September 28, 1998
Lisa Allen/Valley View
Trail construction crews south of Duvall last week covered a length of AT & T fibre optic cable with concrete.
by Lisa Allen
Valley View Editor
DUVALL--Construction crews have begun work on the last uncompleted stretch of the Snoqualmie Valley trail that runs south from Duvall to NE 124th. When the segment is finished, hikers, bikers and horseback riders will be able to travel straight through on the trail from Duvall to Snoqualmie Falls.
The $268,700 project was budgeted by the King County Council almost two years ago, but actual construction was held up by a lengthy permit process and narrow construction time windows, said Karan Soi, King County Parks Capital Improvements Project Manager.
"We needed to get wetlands, shoreline and hydraulics permits," he said. "And, because we require low groundwater levels, there is a specific window in which we can do work. Most of it can only be done around September, so we are taking advantage of that."
Work includes replacement of 10 old railroad bridges and grading down of two open areas that are too wide to span. All that remains of the bridges are the track timbers that cross several deep ravines. They are up to 40 feet in length and less than three feet wide. Signs caution trail users to cross with care, due to the "open bridge decking, no side rails and dangerous heights."
There is a description of the project on a sign at the trail crossing on NE 124th.
RDS Construction crews began last week at NE 138th, moving tons of dirt from the trail to the road. AT & T observers were there as well, to make sure nothing happened to their transcontinental fibre optic cable that had to be retrenched as part of the work. The cable travels the length of the trail.
"This is one of the most important fibre optic cables," said Soi. "We are coordinating with AT & T to make sure it is not disturbed. It has to be a least four feet deep."
He explained that because of the trail configuration, NE 138th will be graded upward somewhat.
"There will be a 5 percent slope on the road," he said.
The bridge deckings and railings are being constructed off-site at Concrete Technology Company of Tacoma.
The pre-fab panels are scheduled to be placed on the bridge sites by early October, Soi said.
Stephen Wright, architect for MacLeod Reckord, the project consultants, said all work should be completed by the end of December.
"The same 4 X 10 concrete panels will be used on this stretch as are used on the rest of the trail," Wright said. "We want to make a safe crossing for people. When this segment is finished, users will be able to walk or ride from Duvall through Fall City to Tokul Road at Snoqualmie Falls. It will be a nice, long ride."