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Aug. 16, 2013

King County to repave handful of roads this summer

Limited funding means just 7 miles of work

Due to plummeting tax revenue and tight budgets, crews plan to repave just a handful of unincorporated King County roads near Redmond, Federal Way, Auburn and Issaquah as part of the county’s summer paving program. The roadwork is only possible thanks to federal grants; otherwise, the county would not be able to repave any roads this summer.

Work is planned in four areas in unincorporated King County on about 7 miles of road starting next week. In the summer of 2010, the county repaved or chip-sealed 43 miles of roadway.

“We are doing the paving we can, thanks to a pilot federal grant program for preservation of roads,” said Road Services Director Brenda Bauer. “We hope that this kind of grant funding might continue, but that is uncertain.  Without repaving of the surface, county roads will continue to weaken and deteriorate to the point of needing costly and serious reconstruction.”

The county has $3.4 million in planned work, which includes $2 million in grants. Planned paving on four road sections is generally scheduled outside of peak commute times, however delays are possible as traffic is funneled into single lanes while crews are paving.

Roads to be paved are:

  • South 288th Street – 1 mile (from Federal Way city limits to Auburn city limits) scheduled to start the week of Aug. 19
  • Northeast 124th Street – 0.94 miles (Willows Road Northeast to State Route 202), mid-September. Prep and paving work is planned for nighttime but could switch to daytime if nighttime temperatures in September are too cold.
  • Southeast May Valley Road – 3.41 miles (from State Route 900 to 229th Drive Southeast), late September, weather dependent
  • Issaquah Hobart Road – 1.56 miles (from Issaquah city limit to Southeast 132nd Way), 2014. Prep and paving is planned at night.

Crews also repaved Southeast Petrovitsky Road and are now paving Southeast Preston-Fall City Road after weather delayed work on those projects in 2012.

Before the new pavement and fresh striping is applied, work includes patching cracks and potholes, grinding away worn surfaces and repairing drainage systems. Wheelchair and pedestrian improvements along South 288th Street were also completed in advance as part of this project.

The end result will be a much smoother and quieter surface for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. The new pavement will also add 10 to 15 years of new life for some of the county’s most deteriorated roadways.

King County Road Services is responsible for maintaining over 1,500 miles of roadway in unincorporated King County. Unfortunately, the roads that connect our communities – roads built generations ago – are failing, and the county does not have funding to maintain and preserve them.

These roads scheduled for paving are among the busiest needing repair, but there are still hundreds of other miles of roads the county lacks sufficient funding to address. Shrinking tax revenue has required staff and budget cuts, and consequently some roadways will deteriorate to the point where more expensive reconstruction will be required in the future.

In 2013, pothole filling and patching will be reduced to nearly 65 percent of 2010 levels. More info is posted online showing bridges at risk for closing and roads in need of reconstruction due to the funding shortfall in the county roads fund.