September 6, 1999
Valley residents, already weary of delays and detours for road maintenance, have another year of projects to look forward to in 2000.
The most significant of those will be the replacement of the Novelty Bridge on NE 124th. This King County project is scheduled to commence in March 2000. The bridge should be re-opened for traffic by November 1.
Cost estimates for construction are between $6.9 million and $7.2 million. The new bridge will have two travel lanes and a shoulder on each side. The travel lanes are specified by the county to be 3.6 meters wide. There will be no separations for non-vehicular traffic.
Two intersections along SR-203 between Carnation and Duvall are also scheduled for improvements. Fay Road at SR-203 and Stillwater Hill Road (Kelly Road) at SR-203 will be realigned.
Longtime resident and past Stillwater Store owner Marge Buse confirmed that the state is in the process of acquiring property across the street from the store. Because of long-term use of the property as a filling station and garage, some environmental cleanup work and restoration will be required.
Stillwater hill has been the scene of many accidents in the past, including a double fatality accident that occurred when a log truck was turning from Stillwater Hill Road to SR-203 northbound. The trailer separated from the truck, which spilled its load. The load of logs crushed a man and his son, who were just leaving the store.
Numerous accidents have happened there as large trucks turn up the hill and leave the roadway, falling into the ditch and sometimes damaging the former garage. Another accident occurred when a smaller truck carrying a bulldozer lost its brakes and crashed into the store after crossing the highway.
Estimated costs for these two improvements is $1,182,000, according to state engineer Jim Johnson, who added they are being administered as one project. Construction is tentatively slated to start in the spring of 2000.
State engineers said they are aware of the Snoqualmie River project and are attempting to mitigate impact. At this time, complete traffic closures/detours are not planned for the SR-203 projects.
As part of the bridge mitigation, a "roundabout" similar to those common in Europe and Australia is being planned for the intersection of NE 124th and SR-203. Additional traffic lights will be installed critical intersections, including one at W. Snoqualmie Valley Road and Woodinville-Duvall (W-D) Road. Signal improvements are planned for W-D Road and Avondale and SR-203 and W-D Road in an effort to decrease traffic congestion in those areas when the Novelty Bridge is closed.