September 13, 1999
This is a King County project. This project is scheduled to commence in March of 2000, and be re-opened for traffic by November 1, 2000. It is estimated to cost between $6.9 and $7.2 million. The new bridge will have two travelled lanes and a shoulder on each side. The travelled lanes are specified by the county to be 3.6 meters wide. There will be no separations for non-vehicular traffic.
The state is about to advertise bids for construction of safety improvements at two intersections along SR-203 between Carnation and Duvall. Fay Road and Stillwater Hill Road (Kelly Rd) will be re-aligned.
In a telephone interview, longtime resident and past store owner Marge Buse confirmed that the state is in the process of acquiring property across the street from the Stillwater Store. Because of its longterm use as a filling station and garage, some environmental clean-up 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 as large trucks turn up the hill and leave the roadway, falling into the ditch and sometimes damaging the (former) garage.
Another accident happened when a smaller truck carrying a bulldozer lost its brakes and crashed into the store after crossing the highway. Estimated cost for these two improvements is $1,182,000, according to state engineer Jim Johnson. They are being administered as one project, Johnson said. 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 above project.
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 in the Valley, and it is possible some might become permanent.
Anders Tronsen, Carnation