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County may keep the gap in Glendale Road

The gap in flood-damaged Glendale Road should stay there for the time being, Island County officials say.

Managers in the county’s public works department will recommend to the county commissioners that the road should be sealed at each end of the breech, leaving a 500-foot gap for Glendale Creek to flow freely between them, Randy Brackett, assistant county engineer, said Thursday.

The county would retain the right-of-way in the event that it decides to reconnect the road in the future, he said.

The road solution is part of a half-million-dollar recommendation for repairs to damages to public property caused by the April 3, 2009 flood of Glendale Creek south of Clinton. The recommendation will be presented to the commissioners next week, Brackett said.

The commissioners will meet at 10 a.m. Monday, May 10, in the commissioners meeting room in the County Annex Building in Coupeville.

“Cost was a big factor in this,” Brackett said. “This is something the county can afford to do.”

The suggestions include spending $250,000 to restore the stream in its lower reach at Glendale, which was severely damaged in the flood. The stream is an important salmon-spawning area.

About a mile above the tiny beach community, another $250,000 would be spent in the vicinity of the damaged roadway.

That would include $160,000 to fashion road ends at the intersection of Glendale and Holst roads and at Glendale Road and Roseberry Street, and $90,000 to stabilize the embankments, Brackett said.

Most of the money would come from zero-interest loans available from the Washington State County Road Administration Board, Brackett said.

“We would pay it back as quickly as we could,” he said.

Brackett said repairs could begin as early as September, once permits are obtained.

He said the recommendations resulted from information gathered in a series of community meetings following the flood.

He said the section of Glendale Road where the washout occurred has been lightly traveled through the years, with fewer than 200 vehicles per day using it.

He acknowledged that residents of the area affected the most by the closure will be required to travel an extra five miles using the surrounding road system.

“We know it’s going to be an imposition to some of the local neighbors, but you can’t satisfy everyone,” Brackett said.

He said the proposed solution for the road is far cheaper than rebuilding it and installing a larger culvert, or building a bridge across the gap. Each of those options alone would cost between $700,000 and $1.5 million, he said.

“We hear a few people ask why the county isn’t doing something,” Brackett said. “But there’s value in letting time pass. It gave us a chance to listen to feedback.”

For information about the recommendations, call Brackett at 321-5111, ext. 7954, or e-mail RandyB@co.island.wa.us.

More information about Glendale is available on the Web site at http://islandcounty.net/publicworks/Glendale/index.html.

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