Paving Project

201609pavingprojectoverviewmapv5

Click on map for a larger image. The mile markers start at I-90 Exit 34, which doesn’t make a lot of sense, but match the ones used by the FHWA and the few still standing by the road. The most prominent current markers are temporary ones used by the construction crew and start at the the couplet fork. Hopefully sane mileage markers that start at the turn onto the Middle Fork road will be put in when the project is done.

Recent Paving Project Events

  • Snow storms in early December resulting in significant accumulation beyond the Big River Bridge at ~MP 5. Fortunately, King County plowed the road as far as the Middle Fork trailhead including the parking areas there and most pullout along the way. Driving past the Middle Fork trailhead is not recommended in mid December without vehicles equipped for slushy and/or icy conditions.
    20161213StuckOnHellHill
  • The 2016 construction road closures ended on October 1. Through mid November there were occasional delays while cleanup work was being done. The only remaining work during the winter season is installation of the guardrail at Champion Beach.
  • In mid-September paving was completed for the entire project length to Valley Camp. Two exceptions are a short section by Champion Beach and a segment by the CCC road intersection that will be chip-sealed instead of being paved.
  • New paving activity started during the second half of August.
  • Construction resumed for the 2016 season on Monday, April 18. The road will be open from noon on Fridays to noon on Mondays. On Friday and Monday you may need to wait up to an hour for a pilot car to escort you through the construction area. On weekends the road will be completely open.
  • The Mailbox trailhead is not accessible during closure periods and you may be towed if you park on the side of the road near the gate or on nearby residential streets. Please try another of the many beautiful hikes in the area for your mid-week recreation – Si, Teneriffe, Bandera, Washington, Defiance and Dirty Harry to mention just a few.

  • Thankfully, one of the first actions taken after the recent closure was to grade the road to remove the very severe pothole situation that has existed all spring.
    20160421ConstructionNewsletter72  
  • As usual, the upper couplet will be closed for the construction season and reserved for truck traffic only. Use the lower couplet.20140510RoadClosure

Progress so far

On March 12, 2014, WFLHD awarded a construction contract to Active Construction for $15M. Bridge work was subcontracted to Arriba Construction. Work began in May, 2014.
By the end of construction in October, 2014 the last 1.7 miles to the Middle Fork campground and the Middle Fork trailhead were paved. The road was open for a couple months with some surveying and clearing work continuing. Then on January 5, 2015 a unusually large rain event caused a washout at the newly-installed water crossings at MP 10 and two road slumps, the larger one at the CCC road intersection at MP 9.8. Following the storm, the road was gated at the Mailbox Peak trailhead and only non-motorized access was allowed. Survey and clearing work continued and in April repair work started on the slumps and the washout. In addition, drilling at Island Drop bend began in preparation for blasting away part of the rock wall there. By Memorial Day weekend, 2015, repairs were completed to the point where the normal construction schedule could be adopted with the road being open to the public on weekends. By early August, 2015 an additional 2 miles were paved, excluding a section by the CCC road intersection that will only get a chip seal because it will be easier to repair if/when the road slumps again. In October, 2015 WFLHD announced that the road construction and closures would continue past the scheduled end date of October 30 to prepare the road for winter, then after the major storm on November 17, 2015 the closure was extended again out of concern about the stability of the road cut by Champion Beach. The road finally opened on December 18, 2015 for the winter season until April 18, 2016. The record setting wet season during the 2015/2016 winter caused enough problems that the completion date has been pushed out an extra year to summer of 2017.

Project Overview

200709SnoqualmieRiverRoadProjectIn the late 90’s King County and the Forest Service proposed a study on the impact of paving the Middle Fork road to improve safety, reduce maintenance and lower the amount of dust and sediment impacting the road corridor and nearby streams. Conservation groups trying to clean up the Middle Fork valley and reduce illegal activity supported paving the road, considering this an essential part of an increased law enforcement presence. In 2000 the FHWA allocated $1.7M and in April 2001 the Federal Register announced preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS). The FHWA hosted a series of open house events in 2003 and 2004 to gather feedback from users and the local communities with a target of fall 2005 for a final EIS leading to a decision in winter 2006. However, disagreements about the project scope and funding delayed progress until King County, the USFS and FHWA agreed on a 20-foot wide paved roadway with funding of approximately $20M in 2010, and to produce an environmental assessment (EA) instead of the more rigorous EIS. More open house events were held and the EA was produced in March 2012.

In May 2013 a decision was made to “reconstruct approximately 9.7 miles of the Middle Fork Road, from MP 2.7 just past the couplet to the Middle Fork Campground at MP 12.4. The Preferred Alternative would create a 20-foot paved roadway width with sections of 18-foot width used in constrained locations. Minor horizontal and vertical alignment adjustments would be made as needed to help promote a design that would improve safety and blend with the context of the valley.” The plans also called for replacement of three bridges at MP 6, 8.4 and 10.6. King County followed suit a couple months later with their Determination Of Nonsignificance (DNS). Public notice sign boards and information sheets were placed along the road and after more delays to resurvey exact right-of-ways, detailed plans were posted in late 2013.

At the most recent public meeting about the project in February 2013 a schedule ending in July, 2016 was announced. Contracts were awarded in March, 2014 and work is now under way for the third year. ACI is paving the road in sections starting from the end. The completion date has been pushed into 2017.

  • 2013: Project contracts to be awarded in the fall (happened March, 2014)
  • 2014: Active construction from late April through October. Last 1.7 miles were paved.
  • 2015: Active construction from late April through November 20. Two more miles were paved. Major storms in January and in November/December caused delays and extended closures.
  • 2016: Continuing work on narrow areas and blast zones. The rest of the road pavement was completed except for a short section near Champion Beach.
  • 2017: Remaining work at the problematic Champion Beach site under a separate contract, with other finishing work as needed. No prolonged closures are planned as in previous years.

Additional Information

FHWA project page for Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road.
All construction newsletters

Timeline

2016/12/13 King County plowed the road on Monday and Tuesday as far as the Middle Fork trailhead after 6″ of snow accumulated from early December snow storms. Driving past the Middle Fork trailhead is not recommended in mid December without vehicles equipped for slushy and/or icy conditions.

20161213StuckOnHellHill

Car stuck in the ditch on Hell Hill

2016/12/01 Construction Newsletter #104Work on the project is shut down for the winter. The contractor may return to the project for a week in December and January to install guardrail, depending on weather. Two sections of the roadway, near Champion Beach and the CCC trail, are rock surfaced and may be rough in places. This was the last weekly newsletter for 2016 until construction resumes in the spring of 2017.

20161201ConstructionNewsletter104

View of Middle Mountain

2016/11/23 Construction Newsletter #103All construction is complete for the season except guardrail installation near Champion Beach. The rail is currently being fabricated. Retaining wall guardrail installation is tentatively scheduled for late November or early December. The remaining guardrail may be completed in January depending on weather. Retaining wall guardrail installation is tentatively scheduled for next week

20161123ConstructionNewsletter103

Completed roadway near Oxbow

2016/11/17 Construction Newsletter #102All construction is complete for the season except guardrail installation near Champion Beach. The rail is currently being fabricated. Retaining wall guardrail installation is tentatively scheduled for late November or early December. The remaining guardrail may be completed in January depending on weather. No work is scheduled for next week.

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Completed roadway near Mine Creek

2016/11/10 Construction Newsletter #101All construction is complete for the season except guardrail installation near Champion Beach. The rail is currently being fabricated. Retaining wall guardrail Installation is tentatively scheduled for late November or early December. The remaining guardrail may be completed in January depending on weather. This week the contractor completed the rock dowels. No work is scheduled for next week.

20161110ConstructionNewsletter101

Garfield Mountain from the Middle Fork trailhead parking lot

2016/11/03 Construction Newsletter #100This week the contractor worked on trimming trees, project cleanup, installing rock dowels in the rock cuts, and installing barrier rail. Work next week work includes completing rock dowels, grouting barrier rail posts, and preparing the project for winter shutdown.

20161103ConstructionNewsletter100

Replanting a roadway cut slope

20161101PlantingBank

Planting salmonberry and red alder on the bank near the CCC trail intersection

20161101InstallingRockBolts

Installing rock bolts to reduce the chance of rocks detaching from the cliff

2016/10/27 Construction Newsletter #99This week the contractor worked on trimming trees, project cleanup, installing rock dowels in the rock cuts, and installing barrier rail. Work next week work includes grouting rock dowels, installing barrier rail, and preparing the project for winter shutdown.

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Trimming trees above the completed roadway

20161021TrimmingTreesByRoad

Road construction workers trim branches hanging over the road up to 20 feet high.

2016/10/20 Construction Newsletter #98This week the contractor worked on trimming trees, project cleanup, and began installing rock dowels in the rock cuts. Next week work will continue on these items.

20161020ConstructionNewsletter98

Drilling for rock dowel installation near the CCC Trail

2016/10/13 Construction Newsletter #97This week the contractor worked on finishing the roadway and concrete guardrail curb near Champion Beach. Next week they will work on trimming trees and begin installing rock dowels in the rock cuts.

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Completed roadway at the upper new bridge

20161011BigBlowoutBridge

Lines marking area for installation of a flexible bridge joint seal

2016/10/06 Construction Newsletter #96This week the contractor worked on finishing the roadway, and concrete guardrail curb near Champion Beach. Next week they will continue working on the same items.

20161006ConstructionNewsletter96

Completed roadway near River Bend

2016/09/29 Construction Newsletter #95This week the contractor worked on finishing the roadway, a concrete guardrail footing and curb, guardrail, and striping. Next week they will continue working on finishing the roadway and the concrete guardrail curb.

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Completed roadway near Mine Creek

20160930FogLinesPainted

Fog lines are now painted from Valley Camp all the way to the Taylor Campground

2016/09/22 Construction Newsletter #94The contractor worked on finishing the roadway, a concrete guardrail footing, guardrail, and erosion control seeding. Next week they will work on finishing the roadway and guardrail. See post with movie of recently paved sections from Valley Camp to Big Blowout Creek.

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Pouring concrete moment slab for guardrail near Champion Beach

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Installing guard rails by the concrete bridge

2016/09/15 Construction Newsletter #93The contractor worked on finishing the roadway, a concrete guardrail footing, parking lot striping and curbs, and paving. Next week they will work on finishing the roadway and guardrail.

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Topping the upper new bridge with a waterproofing layer and asphalt pavement

20160914PavingByValleyCamp

Paving the final stretch by Valley Camp

20160914MiddleForkTHStriping

New striping and parking bumpers at the Middle Fork trailhead. 53 spots in the main lot, 56 in the overflow lot. 4 handicap spots and 4 big pull-through spots.

2016/09/08 Construction Newsletter #92This week the contractor worked on finishing the roadway, subgrade stabilization, and a concrete guardrail footing. Paving will resume next week, weather permitting.

20160908ConstructionNewsletter92

Constructing the last of the reinforced roadway near Mailbox Peak

20160911ConcreteGuardrailFooting

Concrete guardrail footing at Champion Beach

2016/09/01 Construction Newsletter #91This week the contractor worked on finishing the roadway, a concrete guardrail footing, and paving. Next week the contractor will work on finishing the roadway surfacing and concrete guardrail footings. Paving is scheduled to resume September 12. See post for more photos of August paving.

20160901ConstructionNewsletter91

Paving near the Lake Dorothy bridge

20160903WiseCreekPavement

New pavement at Wise Creek crossing

2016/08/25 Construction Newsletter #90This week the contractor worked on finishing the roadway, a concrete guardrail footing, and paving. Next week work will continue on these items.

20160825ConstructionNewsletter90

Paving the top layer of asphalt

2016/08/18 Construction Newsletter #89This week the contractor worked on finishing the roadway, and a concrete guardrail footing. Next week work will continue on these items plus paving.

20160818ConstructionNewsletter89

Finishing roadway surfacing for next week’s paving

2016/08/11 Construction Newsletter #88This week the contractor worked on finishing the roadway, and completing the retaining wall. Next week work will focus on preparing for paving.

20160811ConstructionNewsletter88

Grading roadway surfacing near Oxbow to prepare for paving

2016/08/04 Construction Newsletter #87This week the contractor worked on storm damage repair, finishing the roadway, and constructing a retaining wall. Next week work will continue on these items plus preparing for paving.

20160804ConstructionNewsletter87

Retaining wall construction nearing completion

2016/07/28 Construction Newsletter #86This week the contractor worked on storm damage repair, finishing the roadway, and constructing a retaining wall. Next week work will continue on the same items.

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Retaining wall construction

2016/07/21 Construction Newsletter #85The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road will be closed the weekend of July 23rd and 24th at Mailbox Peak trailhead. This closure is required to construct a retaining wall above the river. The road between Valley Camp and Mailbox Peak will be open from noon Friday July 22nd through noon Monday July 25th. This week the contractor worked on storm damage repair, finishing the roadway, and constructing a retaining wall.

20160721ConstructionNewsletter85

Excavating for a new retaining wall just past the TANW1 river gage

2016/07/14 Construction Newsletter #84The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road will be closed the weekend of July 23rd and 24th at Mailbox Peak trailhead. This closure is required to construct a retaining wall above the river. The road between Valley Camp and Mailbox Peak will be open from noon Friday July 22nd through noon Monday July 25th. This week the contractor worked on storm damage repair, finishing the roadway, placing surfacing rock, and curb and gutter. Next week they will be constructing a retaining wall.

20160714ConstructionNewsletter84

Pouring concrete curb and gutter at Mine Creek

2016/07/07 Construction Newsletter #83The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road will be closed the weekend of July 23rd and 24th at Mailbox Peak trailhead. This closure is required to construct a retaining wall above the river. The road between Valley Camp and Mailbox Peak will be open from noon Friday July 22nd through noon Monday July 25th. This week the contractor worked on storm damage repair, finishing the roadway and side slopes, and placing surfacing rock.

20160707ConstructionNewsletter83

Placing rock surfacing over a reinforced roadway section

2016/06/29 Construction Newsletter #82This week the contractor worked on storm damage repair, finishing the roadway and side slopes, placing surfacing rock, installing drainage pipes, and seeding.

20160629ConstructionNewsletter82

Spraying seed and mulch on the finished slopes

2016/06/23 Construction Newsletter #81This week the contractor worked on storm damage repair, reinforced roadway fills, finishing the roadway and side slopes, and began placing surfacing rock on the roadway.

20160623ConstructionNewsletter81

Excavating to construct a rock buttressed slope above the widened roadway

2016/06/16 Construction Newsletter #80This week the contractor worked on storm damage repair, reinforced roadway fills, rock blasting, and finishing roadway side slopes.

20160512ConstructionNewsletter80

Excavating unsuitable roadway fill near Valley Camp

2016/06/09 Construction Newsletter #79This week the contractor worked on storm damage repair, reinforced roadway fills, and finishing roadway side slopes. Work will continue next week on these items plus rock blasting.

20160609ConstructionNewsletter79

Constructing reinforced roadway above Champion Beach

2016/06/02 Construction Newsletter #78This week the contractor worked on storm damage repair, reinforced roadway fills, and finishing roadway side slopes.

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Subexcavation to construct a reinforced roadway fill

20160601ReinforcedRoadway

Reinforced roadway fill work just before TANW1 gate

2016/05/25 Construction Newsletter #77This week the contractor worked on storm damage repair, reinforced roadway fills, and finishing roadway side slopes.

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Constructing a rock buttress to support the roadway above the river

2016/05/19 Construction Newsletter #76This week the contractor worked on storm damage repair, reinforced roadway fills, and finishing roadway side slopes.

20160512ConstructionNewsletter76

Continuing excavating blasted rock for the widened roadway near Champion Beach

20160514IslandDropSmoothing

Island Drop roadway lowered and graded, much improved over the massive potholes present all winter

2016/05/12 Construction Newsletter #75This week the contractor worked on storm damage repair, reinforced roadway fills, and rock blasting. The road will be open between 6:00 PM Thursday May 26th and 6:00 AM Tuesday May 31st for Memorial Day weekend.

20160512ConstructionNewsletter75

Excavating blasted rock for the widened roadway near Champion Beach

20160514BarriersRemoved

Beat up erosion barriers removed from side of road just beyond MP 10.6 bridge, restoring a natural look to this viewpoint.

2016/05/06 Construction Newsletter #74This week the contractor worked on storm damage repair and reinforced roadway fills. Work will continue next week on these items plus rock blasting.

20160506ConstructionNewsletter74

Constructing reinforced roadway near Valley Camp

20160507UpperCoupletCandles

Candles placed by barrier on upper couplet

20160507UpperCoupletErosion

Erosion of 2009 flood repair to upper couplet on the far side of the jersey barriers

2016/04/28 Construction Newsletter #73This week the contractor continued work on storm damage repair, downed timber cleanup, and maintaining the existing roadway. Work will also resume for the season on roadway improvements.

20160428ConstructionNewsletter73

Cleaning up trees blown down by winter storms

2016/04/21 Construction Newsletter #72 – This week the contractor started work on storm damage repair, downed timber cleanup, and maintaining the existing roadway.

20160421ConstructionNewsletter72

Blading the roadway

2016/04/15 Construction Newsletter #71Starting Monday April 18 the noon Monday through noon Friday closures will resume. The road will be open from noon Fridays through noon Mondays. These closures will continue through September 30, 2016. The contractor will start with roadway repairs and cleaning up downed tress from this winter’s storms.

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Roadway near CCC trail

20160415CompletionDateChange

A notable change in this season’s newsletters is the new completion date of Summer, 2017

2016/03/01 Potholes on the Middle Fork road were as bad as ever, hopefully for the last time as paving is expected to be nearly completed this year.

20160411SeverePotholes

Severe potholes, worse when wet

2016/02/24 After a geotechnical inspection on Tuesday, February 23 indicated that further sliding was not likely the road was opened again on February 24.

2016/02/18 The WFLHD announced that the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road would be closed just past Mailbox Peak. The closure was “due to recent landslides adjacent to the roadway.” The landslide activity mentioned was a road shoulder slump just before the CCC trail intersection.

20160224RoadSideSlump

Slump at the edge of the road that caused the Feb 18 closure. This spot is just before the CCC road junction about 9.5 miles in.

2015/12/18 As of this day the Middle Fork road was opened 7 days a week for the winter season until construction started again in April, 2016

20151218RoadOpens

Opening of the gate for the winter season

2015/12/17 Construction Newsletter #70The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road is scheduled to reopen at noon Friday December 18. The road will be open 7 days a week. The contractor will have a small crew on site next week finishing cleanup. No delays are anticipated. This will be the last weekly newsletter until construction resumes in the spring.


First low elevation snow storm blankets the road near the Middle Fork trailhead

2015/12/10 Construction Newsletter #69The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road will remain closed above Mailbox Peak. This is due to downed trees from this week’s wind storms. The contractor is working to clear the roadway and finish cleanup from the recent series of storms. It is anticipated that the road will reopen next week. The road opening will be announced in an updated newsletter.

20151209MineCreekDownedTrees

Downed trees by Mine Creek gate

2015/12/09 After the heavy rain event of December 8-9 a geotechnical engineer approved opening the roadway through the slide area. There is barrier in place to catch any debris that may come down. After the downed trees were cleared and final cleanup work completed the road was opened for the winter season on Friday, December 18 at noon.

2015/12/04 Construction Newsletter #68The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road will remain closed above Mailbox Peak. This is due to damage as a result of the heavy rains from the November 17th storm event. A re-evaluation of conditions will take place next week. The current closure will remain until further notice.


The season’s first snow on the road approaching Island Drop

2015/11/25 Construction Newsletter #67The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road will remain closed above Mailbox Peak for the Thanksgiving Holiday through the following week. This is due to damage as a result of the heavy rains from the November 17th storm event. A re-evaluation of conditions will take place next week. The current closure will extend to December 4th at noon.


Russian Butte from CCC trail junction

20151114StabilizingRoadCut

The road cut by Champion Beach that caused safety concerns and the extended closure into December

2015/11/20 The gate location was moved to just beyond the Mailbox Peak trailhead.

2015/11/20 Construction Newsletter #66The weather event on November 17, 2015 caused impacts to the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road. The storm caused flooding that over topped the roadway in places as well as brought down trees throughout the project area. Cleanup operations are under way by the contractor to clear the roadway of down trees and debris. Due to current conditions on the project the roadway will remain closed above Mailbox Peak over the weekend into start of next week.

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Middle Fork river at Island Drop on 11/16/2015

20151120ConstructionNewsletter66B

Middle Fork river at Island Drop on 11/17/2015

2015/11/17 Following the November 17, 2015 storm the closure was first extended until December 4, including total closure on Thanksgiving weekend, and was closed indefinitely pending inspection of an unstable slope above the Champion Beach road cut. The concern about the road cut is heightened by another cycle of heavy rain expected Dec 8 and 9. A geotechnical engineer was expected to review the site and WFLHD evaluated options during the week of December 7.

2015/11/13 Construction Newsletter #65With the recent heavy rains some sections may not be suitable for low clearance, two wheel drive vehicles. A portion of the road is washed out beyond the project limits on the other side of the Taylor River bridge just past Dingford Creek Road. Next week the contractor will be working on finishing the project for the season.


Rock excavation by Champion Beach

2015/11/06 Construction Newsletter #64The noon Monday to noon Friday road closures will extend to November 20, 2015. A portion of the road is washed out beyond the project limits on the other side of the Taylor River bridge just past Dingford Creek Road. Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, finishing roadway side slopes, placing surfacing rock, and installing erosion control devices.


Constructing a rock supported slope

2015/10/29 Construction Newsletter #63The noon Monday to noon Friday road closures will extend to November 20, 2015. The road will be open from noon Fridays through noon Mondays. Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, finishing roadway side slopes, placing surfacing rock, installing erosion control devices, and rock blasting.


Cut slope repair

2015/10/23 Construction Newsletter #62The noon Monday to noon Friday road closures will extend to November 20, 2015. The road will be open from noon Fridays through noon Mondays. Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, finishing roadway side slopes, placing surfacing rock, and rock blasting.


Stream flowing through a new culvert

2015/10/15 Construction Newsletter #61Noon Monday to noon Friday road closures continue this week. The road will be open from noon Friday through noon Monday. Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, finishing roadway side slopes, placing surfacing rock, installing culverts, and rock blasting.


Cut slope repair

2015/10/08 Construction Newsletter #60The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road will be closed the weekend of October 10th and 11th at Mailbox Peak trailhead. This closure is required to remove and replace an existing bridge on the project. The road between Valley Camp and Mailbox Peak will be open from noon Friday October 9th through noon Monday October 12th. Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, finishing roadway side slopes, placing surfacing rock, and installing culverts.


Setting precast concrete box culvert sections

2015/10/01 Construction Newsletter #59The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road will be closed the weekend of October 10th and 11th at Mailbox Peak trailhead. This closure is required to remove and replace an existing bridge on the project [at MP 5.6, just beyond the concrete bridge]. The road between Valley Camp and Mailbox Peak will be open from noon Friday October 9th through noon Monday October 12th. Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, finishing roadway side slopes, placing surfacing rock, installing culverts, and removing an existing bridge.


Backfilling the final stage of the large culvert

2015/09/24 Construction Newsletter #58This week the contractor completed the first stage of the installation and backfill of a 22 foot wide by 13 foot high culvert. The road has been rerouted across this new culvert. The remainder of the culvert will be assembled this week and backfill complete early next week. Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, finishing roadway side slopes, placing surfacing rock, installing culverts, and rock blasting.


Backfilling the large culvert

2015/09/18 Construction Newsletter #57This week the contractor completed the excavation for the first stage of the installation of a 22 foot wide by 13 foot high culvert and began assembly. The contractor will be working this Sat- urday and 24 hours a day Mondays through Fridays for the next several weeks on this culvert. Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, finishing roadway side slopes, culvert installation, and rock blasting.


Culvert assembly

2015/09/11 Construction Newsletter #56This week the contractor started the preparatory work for the installation of a 22 foot wide by 13 foot high culvert. The contractor will be working 24 hours a day Mondays through Fridays for the next several weeks on this culvert. Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, finishing roadway side slopes, culvert installation, and rock blasting.


Culvert installation

2015/09/03 Construction Newsletter #55The roadway will be open from 6:00 PM Thursday September 3rd though 6:00 AM Tuesday September 7th for Labor Day weekend. Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, excavating for the widened roadway, erosion control and seeding, and installing drainage pipes.


Constructing reinforced roadway

2015/08/28 Construction Newsletter #54The roadway will be open from 6:00 PM Thursday September 3rd though 6:00 AM Tuesday September 7th for Labor Day weekend. Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, excavating for the widened roadway, and installing drainage pipes..


Placing rock to stabilize a slope that slid during last winter’s heavy rain

2015/08/21 Construction Newsletter #53This week the contractor constructed reinforced roadway embankment and drainage pipes in the upper portion of the project and roadway fills down to the Mailbox Peak trailhead. Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, excavating for the widened roadway, installing drainage pipes., and placing stone facing on the monument sign bases.


Excavating for a culvert pipe near Bessemer Road

2015/08/14 Construction Newsletter #52This week the contractor constructed reinforced roadway embankment and drainage pipes in the upper portion of the project and roadway fills in the lower portion. Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, excavating for the widened roadway, installing drainage pipes., and placing stone facing on the monument sign bases.


Middle Fork Valley entrance monument sign base

2015/08/06 Construction Newsletter #51This week the contractor completed paving between the two new bridges. The area that was not paved will be covered with a chip seal (oil and rock surface) later in the project. Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, excavating for the widened roadway, repairing damaged roadway areas, and installing drainage pipes.


Paving was completed this week between the two new bridges

2015/07/30 Construction Newsletter #50This week the contractor will complete the first layer of paving between the two new bridges. The area that was not paved will be covered with a chip seal (oil and rock surface) later in the project. Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, excavating for the widened roadway, repairing damaged roadway areas, installing drainage pipes, and paving.


Paving near the beaver pond

2015/07/23 Construction Newsletter #49Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, excavating for the widened roadway, repairing damaged roadway areas, and installing drainage pipes. Paving is scheduled to begin between the two new concrete bridges on Tuesday.


Placing fill to widen the roadway

2015/07/16 Construction Newsletter #48Next week the contractor will continue constructing roadway fills, finishing crushed rock surfacing in preparation for paving, and installing drainage pipes.


Finishing the roadway near the CCC trail

2015/07/09 Construction Newsletter #47The Washington State Industrial Fire Precaution Level was raised to 4 in the project area. This resulted in a total shutdown of construction work on the project. Work will be suspended until the precaution level is lowered. The road will continue to be open to the public from noon Fridays through noon Mondays.
The central cascades including the Middle Fork Valley is zone 659N, the only one to be raised to level 4 based on DNR’s IFPL map. The IFPL levels are

  • Level I: Closed Fire Season – Fire equipment and fire watch service is required.
  • Level II: Partial Hoot Owl – Limits certain activities to between the hours of 8pm and 1pm.
  • Level III: Partial Shutdown – Prohibits some activities altogether and limits other activities between the hours of 8pm and 1pm.
  • Level IV: General Shutdown – All operations prohibited.
20150712IFPLMap

Zone 659 N at Level 4 includes the Middle Fork valley


Finished rock surfacing ready for paving

2015/07/02 Construction Newsletter #46Next week the contractor will continue working on roadway repairs, embankment construction, placing and finishing crushed rock, and roadway drainage features. Paving is scheduled to begin July 7th.


Placing topsoil on the finished roadway slope

2015/06/25 Construction Newsletter #45Next week the contractor will continue working on roadway repairs, embankment construction, placing and finishing crushed rock, and roadway drainage features. Paving is scheduled to begin June 30th.


Excavating new roadway cut slopes and ditches

2015/06/18 Construction Newsletter #44Next week the contractor will continue working on roadway repairs, embankment construction, placing and finishing crushed rock, and roadway drainage features. Paving is scheduled to resume late June through early July.


Finishing the roadway crossing the slide area near the CCC trail

2015/06/11 Construction Newsletter #43Next week the contractor will continue working on roadway repairs, embankment construction, placing crushed rock, and roadway drainage features.


Reinforced roadway crossing the slide area near the CCC trail

2015/06/05 Construction Newsletter #42Next week the contractor will continue working on roadway repairs, embankment construction, placing crushed rock, and concrete work on the two new bridges.


Strengthening and repairing the damaged low water crossings

2015/05/29 Construction Newsletter #41Next week the contractor will continue working on roadway repairs, embankment construction, concrete work on the two new bridges and installing roadway drainage.


Pouring concrete bridge rail curbs on the new Big Blowout Creek bridge

20150525BoxCulvertBypass

5/25/2015: Bypass of washed out box culverts just beyond the CCC trailhead

20150525CCCSlumpRepair

5/25/2015: Deep patch repair of the slump by the CCC road intersection

2015/05/21 Since May 21 the normal construction schedule was in place. Motorized access was allowed Friday noon to Monday noon. On Fridays and Mondays there were waits of up to an hour for a pilot car to escort you through the construction zone.
2015/05/20 Construction Newsletter #40Next week the contractor will continue on roadway repairs and embankment construction.


Constructing the roadway over soft soils

2015/05/15 Construction Newsletter #39Next week the contractor will continue on road repairs and work on cleaning up the washed out area to make it passable for public traffic. Due to recent rains there may be areas that low clearance sedans may have difficulty traversing. Next week’s newsletter will have an update on road conditions.


Constructing a reinforced roadway over the slide near the CCC trail

2015/05/08 Construction Newsletter #38The contractor has repaired two of the three slide areas within the roadway and is working on the third. It is anticipated that repair of the washed out roadway section will begin this week or next.


Constructing a reinforced roadway over the slide near the CCC trail

2015/05/06 The closure point was moved back from the Mailbox parking lot to Valley camp and no access of any kind was allowed on weekdays, but pedestrian and bicycle access was allowed on weekends.
2015/05/01 Construction Newsletter #37 – Summer weekday total closures will begin on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 with the closure point being moved back to Valley Camp. Until all road damage from the January storm is repaired, only pedestrian and bicycle traffic will be allowed on weekends. Hopefully this will change in a few weeks and motorized access to the upper valley will be allowed on weekends. The newsletter describes current work as “The contractor has repaired two of the three slide areas within the roadway and has started work on the third. Design of the washed out roadway repair is complete and the contractor will start work on this as soon as the third slide area is stabilized for heavy construction equipment to cross.”


Repair of slump at CCC road intersection

2015/01/29 Construction Newsletter #36 – Road closed at Mailbox trail


The roadway closure has been moved beyond the Mailbox Peak trailhead

2015/01/07 Construction Newsletter #35 – Flood damage, road closed at Valley Camp


Flood debris blocking roadway

2015/01/05 The road was closed to vehicles at the Mailbox Peak trailhead after the January 5 storm. The closure extended until Memorial Day, 2015. Non-motorized access was allowed.
2014/11/21 Construction Newsletter #34 – Surveying and erosion control


Constructing a rock stabilized slope

2014/11/13 Construction Newsletter #33 – Rock surfacing, mudslide repair


Placing crushed rock on the completed roadway embankment near the beaver ponds

2014/11/07 Construction Newsletter #32 – Winter shutdown preparation


Completed low water crossing

2014/10/31 Construction Newsletter #31 – Weekday closures end


Installing low water crossing planks. These armor the roadway so it will not wash out in extreme flood events

2014/10/23 Construction Newsletter #30 – open Big Blowout bridge, winter prep, roadway fill


Stream flowing through a completed box culvert

2014/10/16 Construction Newsletter #29 – open Big Blowout bridge, low water crossings


588+50 Bridge open to traffic

2014/10/09 Construction Newsletter #28 – Last 2 miles paved


Paving along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River

2014/10/02 Construction Newsletter #27 – Middle Fork trailhead paving


Middle Fork Trailhead parking lot paving

2014 Fall, NCCC Wild Cascades article – “The [new] Middle Fork road is narrow, and seems to fit the valley well. Trees still arch together overhead in many places. Culverts that block fish migration have been replaced. The awful dust that has plagued areas along the road will be a thing of the past. … Of course, the challenge ahead will be how to deal with the flood of visitors who will follow.”
2014/09/26 Construction Newsletter #26 – Bridge work, blasting, road paving


Installing a precast concrete box culvert

2014/09/19 Construction Newsletter #25 – Bridge work, blasting, road paving


Paving between the Middle Fork Trailhead parking lot and Middle Fork Campground

2014/09/12 Construction Newsletter #24 – Roadway fill, blasting, bridge work


Placing concrete in the end wall on the 588+50 bridge

2014/09/05 Construction Newsletter #23 – Big culverts, replacing unstable road areas


Excavating for a large culvert pipe

2014/08/28 Construction Newsletter #22 – Blasting at CCC trailhead


Checking the finished rock blasting at the CCC trail connection

2014/08/22 Construction Newsletter #21 – Roadway fill, Middle Fork trailhead work


lacing rip rap so the roadway can be widened over soft soils

2014/08/15 Construction Newsletter #20 – Roadway fill, culverts, blasting


Constructing an aquatic organism passage culvert pipe

2014/08/07 Construction Newsletter #19 – Roadway fill, culverts, bridge work


Building concrete formwork at the 588+50 bridge and excavation in the background

2014/08/01 Construction Newsletter #18 – Culverts installed


Culvert installation

2014/07/24 Construction Newsletter #17 – 7-day-a-week closure begins


Setting girders at the 588+50 bridge

2014/07/18 Construction Newsletter #16 – MP 10.6 bridge stream diverted


Night shift preparing to divert the stream and remove the existing bridge at 588+50

2014/07/11 Construction Newsletter #15 – Bridge work continues


Existing 588+50 bridge

2014/07/03 Construction Newsletter #14 – Clearing for blasting, piles completed


Completing pile driving at the 471+85 bridge over Big Blowout Creek

2014/06/27 Construction Newsletter #13 – Clearing for blasting, piles almost complete


Finishing roadway slopes

2014/06/20 Construction Newsletter #12 – Clearing for blasting, road fill, drainage pipe


Pile driving at the 588+50 bridge

2014/06/13 Construction Newsletter #11 – Roadway fill continues, piles at 2 bridges


Surveying pile locations at the 588+50 bridge

2014/06/06 Construction Newsletter #10 – Roadway fill by campground, clearing by MP 10.6 bridge


Excavation to widen the road near the 588+50 bridge

2014/05/30 Construction Newsletter #9“This week, the temporary steel bridge was relocated and a temporary detour opened at the timber bridge site to make room for the construction of a replacement bridge. Next week, the Contractor will be installing erosion control devices and roadway fill construction will continue on the upper part of the project near Middle Fork Campground.”

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Erosion control

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It only took 35 minutes for the contractor to relocate the temporary steel bridge at Big Blowout Creek 30 feet upstream, where it will act as a temporary detour


2014/05/25 Steel bridge at Big Blowout Creek placed as a parallel temporary bridge during construction of the new one
2014/05/21 Construction Newsletter #8 – Longer Memorial Day weekend openings, erosion control, detour around Big Blowout Creek bridge at MP 8.5


Placing roadway fill near Middle Fork trailhead

2014/05/16 Construction Newsletter #7 – Erosion control, Bridge pile driving, detour around Big Blowout Creek bridge at MP 8.5

  
Pile driving at Big Blowout Creek

2014/05/09 Construction Newsletter #6 – Erosion control, Bridge pile driving, brushing banks


Pile driving at the 588+50 Bridge

2014/05/05 Upper couplet closed, first day of weekday closures
2014/05/02 Construction Newsletter #5 – Weekday closures begin


Excavation at the 588+50 Bridge begins

2014/04/25 Construction newsletter #4 – Surveying, staking and bridge piling prep

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Surveyors work near the upper CCC trailhead

2014/04/23 Paving project open house
2014/04/17 Construction newsletter #3 – Open house scheduled
2014/04/15 Construction offices set up at Valley Camp, which provides necessary power and water supplies
2014/04/14 Survey crews set monitoring points along the upper couplet to track ground movement that may occur during construction
2014/04/11 Construction newsletter #2 – survey work, open house coming
2014/04/03 WTA blog post about road closures
2014/03/25 Construction newsletter #1 – anticipated closure schedule
2014/03/20 Seattle Bike Blog on new possibilities for bike camping
2014/02/01 Contract bidding deadline. As one hopeful contractor put it — “everyone and their brother is going to be bidding on this.” The contract bid process was delayed by difficulties obtaining shoreline management permits for work near any streams or the Middle Fork river.
2013/08/26 FHWA Solicitation Number: DTFH70-13-B-00015 on FedBizOps.gov
2013/04/19 ‘It’s going to be busy’: Big changes coming to North Bend’s Middle Fork wilderness gateway
2013/02/26 Paving project open house
2013/01/22 Conservation groups support for Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road Enhancements for Public Access
2012/05/31 The FONSI says “Pave the Road!”
2012/07/31 King County OKs paving
2012/06/03 Fishing website forum expresses concerns about the impact of paving the road
2012/06/02 Snoqualmie’s Middle Fork, loved by Seattle hikers, to be improved
2012/05/31 The FONSI says “Pave the Road!”
2012/04/07 King County posts a public notice board at the head of the Middle Fork road. Front and Back.
2011/06/27 Paving the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road?
2004 Spring, NCCC Wild Cascades article – “A public meeting was recently held by FHWA in North Bend to outline the project’s status. The alternatives on offer are not encouraging. There has long been some feeling among some segments of the conservation and recreation communities that there might, just possibly, be some advantages to paving the lower Middle Fork road. The hope was that paving the road would allow greater law enforcement presence, and help change the character of this valley which was for many years a ‘no man’s land,’ by making it more accessible, as well as reducing dust and runoff.”
2001 Summer, Goldmyer News – “The Middle Fork Road, previously designated as Forest Service Road #56, was recently designated by administration action to become Forest Highway 29.The Middle Fork Project was submitted in a call for projects and was ranked as a one of the top candidate projects in Washington under the Public Lands Highway Program, which is being financed with roughly 12 million dollars through the Federal Highway Trust Fund. The proposed project will improve the lower 12.1 miles of gravel road up to the Middle Fork Trailhead parking area near the Taylor River Bridge. … In a nutshell this is a proposal to pave that stretch of road”

Major Documents

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March, 2012: Middle Fork Road Project Environmental Assessment

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May, 2012: Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

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October, 2013: Middle Fork River Road Plans