CHOKEPOINTS

Eight month closure coming to route off Sammamish Plateau

Mar 3, 2020, 6:55 AM | Updated: 6:56 am
Sammamish Plateau, Fall City, Issaquah...
(Chris Sullivan, KIRO Radio)
(Chris Sullivan, KIRO Radio)

There are only a few ways to get off the Sammamish Plateau, and the city is about to close one of them for the rest of the year.

A KIRO Radio listener hit me up recently about all the construction on Issaquah-Fall City Road and the upcoming plans to close that route later this month.

This is a project I highlighted four years ago, when it was only in the design phase. Sammamish Senior Project engineer Sam Park said construction got underway in August as the contractor started widening the two-lane road. It just can’t handle the 24,000 vehicles a day that use it, and this was promised to Klahanie residents when the area was annexed.

“We’re widening the road from two lanes to four lanes, and we’re improving the intersections from signalized intersections to roundabouts,” Park said. “There are going to be three roundabouts, and we’re removing a sag in the roadway by building a bridge.”

It is that bridge work that is going to cause the closure of this route that connects the Sammamish Plateau to Highway 202 and I-90. The bridge is 400 feet long. Park said the plan is to close Issaquah-Fall City Road at the end of the month, though the closure date is still in flux. This closure will last eight months.

“Everyone is going to have to find their way around it,” Park said. “We’re going to have to wait and see approach as far as how traffic is impacted.”

The closure extends from 247th and Klahanie Boulevard, which is about a quarter of a mile. The entire project, widening included, extends about two miles. Park said the new bridge will be about 25 feet higher than the current roadway, which dips significantly to the creek bed at the bottom of the sag. It will be two lanes in each direction, with bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides.

“We’re improving the intersections and the roadway capacity,” Park said. “Safety is going up. Pedestrian safety is improving.”

The project also includes a dedicated crosswalk in front of the nearby middle school.

Why Sammamish’s median household income is highest in U.S. 

The city hopes to have the road portion of this project completed by the end of the year. There will still work to do on the old road, over the creek. It will be removed, and the culvert will be replaced, improving fish habitat on the north fork of Issaquah Creek.

The culvert was blocked long ago by a family of beavers. This new bridge will prevent that from happening.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints.

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Eight month closure coming to route off Sammamish Plateau