Northwest NEWS

January 29,2001


Improvements to Novelty Hill Road would be an exercise in futility

Copy of a letter sent to Barbara de Michele, Community Relations Planner
   Since you are asking for written comments from residents about the N.E. Novelty Hill Rd. Project, I would like to give you mine. To widen and improve Novelty Hill Rd. (and Union Hill Rd.) would be an exercise in futility. These roads empty onto Avondale Rd. which as you know is at capacity now.
   I know it is easier to widen existing roads but the windy section at the east end of Novelty Hill Rd. isn't even included in the plan. Union Hill Rd. has its own narrow, steep, windy part all built back in the 1920s and improved now and then. These roads wouldn't need immediate improvements if a new alternative road could be built to move the people from the Redmond Ridge and the Duvall-Carnation areas to the end of 520.
   The following new roads I have suggestedfive years ago when Weyerhaeuser was having meetings about Northridge. They wanted to pay as little as possible for road improvements, of course, so no one would look at my ideas. Their plans and mitigation costs had long since been decided.
   Now, however, since the taxpayers in general will be paying and the transportation problem is getting worse, you might be willing to consider my road proposals.
   The road segments could be built in three phases as needed. First, the part following N.E. 80th at 238th going west along the south boundary of Redmond Ridge, then continuing on or near the line of N.E. 80th down to N.E. 76th which goes to the underpass at 520. It should descend the hill in a deep trench and have an overpass over Union Hill Rd.
   It could go along the south side of Johnson Park and the King County property and then somehow through the gravel pit to get to the end of N.E. 76th.
   Next, the section of road from existing N.E. 80th (at 260th) down to the East Snoqualmie Valley Road could go on a long sloping diagonal, cross the West Snoqualmie Valley Road and the river in a tall overpass and get to the end of 268th, a little road that goes to the Duvall-Carnation Road. This would give the Valley people easy access to 520.
   The last phase would be an alternate route to take the pressure off overcrowded Avondale Rd. It would follow N.E. 192nd from N.E. 133rd clear down to the Redmond Fall City Rd. where it would intersect with 187th which goes to E. Lake Sammamish Parkway. This new road (except for a little piece north of 116th) would be intersecting three busy roads and would have to have a big new intersection at the new N.E. 80th Road.
   And while I'm making suggestions, how about a short road from the end of 208th down to the Redmond-Fall City Rd. where it could intersect with the Sahalee Rd. They couldn't build deep "trench and fill" roads in the 1920s because they didn't have the big equipment we have now. So they had to build "hillside notch" roads that have been improved but are still dangerous.
   Anne Salmi, Redmond