Input sought on Middle Fork Road revamp plan

NORTH BEND - Officials designing a plan to revamp the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road will be in North Bend next week to solicit public input.

The project is a joint effort between the Federal Highway Administration - Western Federal Land Highway Division, King County and the U.S. Forest Service. The plan could call for the re-vamp of an 11-mile stretch of Middle Fork road from milepost 1.36 to the Middle Fork-Taylor River Trailhead. Currently the road is paved for the first 1.3 miles with the remaining portion consisting of gravel and dirt.

Although several plans for the road were initially presented, the list has been narrowed to four options. Those options are:

* A 22-foot road with minor alignment adjustments - The roadway would be 22-feet wide (9-foot lanes, 2-foot shoulders). Minor horizontal and vertical curve adjustments would be made at the curves and along the long tangent sections to promote a design that blends with the context of the Valley. Substandard curves with poor sight distance would be improved, and some of the tighter curves would be signed to minimize alignment changes. Parking facilities would be developed off the roadway for recreational access.

* A 24-foot road with minor alignment adjustments - The roadway would be 24-feet wide (10-foot lanes, 2-foot shoulders) with realignment at the curves as well as some of the long tangent sections. A parallel parking lane would be developed at specific locations along the route for recreational access.

* A 30-foot road with alignment adjustments - This road would be 30-feet wide (10-foot lanes, 5-foot shoulders) with a new alignment correcting all substandard curves. No changes would be made to the long tangent sections. Parking facilities would be developed off the roadway for recreational access.

* Leave the road as it is. No adjustments would be made.

Project officials said public interest in the project remains solid. A project mailing list currently includes about 1,200 addresses. People who'd like to get on the mailing list can send their name and address to

At the last open house, held March 4, project officials reported that a majority of attendees said there was a need to improve the road, but wanted to ensure that the natural character of the area was maintained. The majority of attendees said they'd like to see the road remain narrow to reduce the impact to the area, as well as limited the speed at which vehicles travel.

Also among the list of desired improvements, according to a meeting report, were additional access to recreation including adequate parking; controlling pubic access to sides roads and areas beyond the Taylor River Trailhead; and maintaining water quality.

The preferred plan is slated for a spring 2006 approval.

* The open house is scheduled from 4-8 p.m. on June 2 at the Mount Si Senior Center, 411 Main Ave. S. in North Bend.

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