Glendale settlement proposal going nowhere

"Island Asphalt worker Bob Brandon watches as Glendale Road is excavated as part of the construction process for an earthen wall. This scene occurred about three weeks ago. Since then the road has been filled in and the wall is built.Jim Larsen / staff photoIsland County will likely decline a lawsuit settlement offer and proceed with reconstruction of Glendale Road.The group Friends of Glendale Creek filed a lawsuit last month in an attempt to stop work on the project, but so far work has progressed. The group has fought for a one-lane road in an effort to better protect fish in the creek, and also to reduce traffic in the small, seaside community.On Aug. 9, the Friends' attorney, Claudia Newman, offered to settle the lawsuit if Island County would agree to make only 600-feet of the road one-way.If the county is not willing to make this one change, Friends of Glendale Creek will proceed quickly with challenging the entire project, wrote Newman in a letter addressed to Arne Denny of the Prosecuting Attorney's office.Island County Commissioner Mike Shelton, whose district includes the Glendale community, has pushed strongly for reconstruction of the two-lane road, which was washed out in the flood of 1997.Shelton said Wednesday that he's not willing to make even a portion of the road one-way. The original offer was one-way and we said no, he said. Now they want 600 feet close to town. I'm only one vote out of three, but we'll probably stand by what we originally decided. He believes new culverts and other work already completed have adequately addressed environmental concerns. The other commissioners, Mac McDowell and Bill Thorn, have always followed Shelton's lead in the matter.The reconstruction project should be completed by the end of September, said Curt Gordon, Island Asphalt owner, when asked about it on Thursday.Gorton's firm won the contract to build a 180-foot long retaining wall to protect the road and creek from landslides in the hilly, unstable area.To build the wall, a large hole was dug into the old roadbed to find a firm foundation. But Gorton said that hole has been refilled with the original material, and the earthen wall itself was finished Friday, Aug. 10.This week another contractor, Callan Construction, was due to arrive on the scene to install the second of two fish-friendly culverts that will complete Callan's part of the reconstruction. Callan had earlier rebuilt the road through downtown Glendale.Gorton said when Callan finishes with the culvert, his crew will return to install a drainage system with catch basins behind the wall. If all goes as scheduled we'll be done by the end of September, he said.Attorney Newman was not available for comment this week. Her office said she is on vacation until Aug. 27. "

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