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Building bridges

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Ewing Stringfellow (right), owner of Middle Fork S Ranches in North Bend, talks with a King County official about the new Mount Si Bridge which will replace the existing bridge that was built in North Bend in 1904. The King County Road Services Division held an open house at Mount Si High School on Dec. 2 to get feedback on early designs for the new bridge. Construction is set to begin early 2007 and is expected to take two years to complete. Stringfellow, who is a member of the King County Agriculture Commission and currently owns the land on which the new bridge will be built, expressed his concerns about possible future problems with Little Si parking and the future of his U-cut Christmas tree farm. The new bridge's alignment will shift the road from its current location in order to improve driver visibility, and as a result it will occupy about half of the land which is currently dedicated to Stringfellow's tree farm. The Mount Si Bridge project is one of several bridge replacement/improvement projects that are either planned or currently underway in the Valley. The new Mount Si Bridge will have 11-foot travel lanes, six-foot shoulders, and a six-foot sidewalk. The current bridge does not have a sidewalk. In addition, it has rusting steel beams, and noticeable deterioration of its timber supports and metal decking.

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