As a spin document, Ms. Hansen’s [Nov. 9] letter is pretty good, but not
a masterpiece. She says the Snoqualmie Valley Record “… veered off course
by casually dismissing real environmental and safety issues involving the
use of Exit 38,” and then she proceeds to veer off course herself. Let’s take
a look at some of her comments.
Everyone agrees: Exit 34 is already used by trucks getting to/from one
of the biggest and busiest truck stops in the state, and this is before the
schools on the corner of Middlefork Road and Southeast 140th Street are
constructed in the next couple of years. But Ms. Hansen doesn’t mention what
will happen when the project adds (by their own numbers) 900 gravel truck
trips per day.
She even says, “Using Exit 34, gravel trucks would pass by no
homes, no schools, no parks, no rivers and no trailheads.”
She fails to mention that some of the traffic from the truck stop
will avoid the congestion caused by the increased traffic and use
Southeast 140th Street and North Bend Way to get to I-90 via Exit 32. Maybe
she doesn’t care about the other traffic because it isn’t comprised of the
gravel trucks. Or maybe she doesn’t care about the intermingling of the
other traffic with the school buses carrying small children to and from the
new school. While Ms. Hansen may be correct that the gravel trucks might
not go by the homes, schools, etc., does she have any comments about how
the gravel truck traffic will affect the traffic flow in the neighborhood?
She also plays the environmental card by saying that using Exit 38
will require enlargement of the Fire Training Academy Road, and, “Even
with the best construction practices, some impact to streams, forestlands and
the river is unavoidable.” Gosh, maybe I misread the DEIS and Cadman’s
Web site, but aren’t we always being assured that no accidents, spills,
accidental piercing of the aquifer or other potential calamities will happen
because Cadman has such expertise in these areas?
It seems a contradiction that they can assure us they can operate
on Grouse Ridge for 25 years without a mishap, but overseeing the
enlargement of an existing road can’t be done without significant impact on the
ecology? Hmm, maybe I am a skeptic.
Candidly, the Grouse Ridge gravel operation will have a negative
impact on safety, and it will have a negative impact on the environment.
Cadman does not want to work through Exit 38 because it will cost them
more money, it will force more restrictions on them and they are vulnerable
to comments from a study they had Hart & Crowser perform a couple of
However, there is an alternative. Cadman can choose not to operate
a gravel pit on Grouse Ridge. Then there is no problem with either Exit 34
or Exit 38, there is no negative impact on the environment and, finally,
there is no safety problem.