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Timeline uncertain for Mountain View road work

Mountain View Road was damaged last month after flood waters overwhelmed a concrete drainage pipe and undercut the road above it. - Photo by Paul Balcerak
Mountain View Road was damaged last month after flood waters overwhelmed a concrete drainage pipe and undercut the road above it.
— image credit: Photo by Paul Balcerak

By PAUL BALCERAK

Staff writer

Work began on a damaged section of NW Mountain View Road this week, but county officials are uncertain just how much time it will take to complete repairs.

The roadway, just east of Clear Creek Road NW, was damaged when flood waters overwhelmed a concrete drainage pipe last month and undercut the road above it. The county has drawn up plans to remove the 3-foot diameter pipe and replace it with a 12-foot box culvert.

Northern Con-Ag (NCA) has been contracted to remove the pipe and install the culvert on a 40-day, working day contract, though the contract is weather dependent, meaning bad weather days don’t count as working days.

In other words, if the weather stays consistently bad, it could be a while.

“It’s not a very complicated job (otherwise),” NCA Vice President Jerry Oman said, though he added that nearby utilities will complicate work somewhat. A gas main runs parallel with the road, just underground.

The $350,000 project was planned to begin this summer, even before flooding forced it to start early. The culvert that will be installed will be able to handle about four times more water than the pipe that’s installed now.

“It’s got considerably more flow area,” County Construction Manager Jacques Dean said, adding that the culvert also will provide easier stream access for salmon.

Mountain View is one of only three major projects remaining in the county in the wake of last month’s floods.

Several washed out roads and bridges in the county have already gotten at least temporary fixes.

“It’s a lot of work in a pretty short amount of time,” Dean said. “I’ve been in the county 20 years and that (flood damage) was incredible.”

The repairs on Chico Way bridge and Illahee Road, however, are expected to last into 2009.

Preliminary work has begun on the bridge, but construction is expected to take nine months and likely won’t begin till “late summer,” according to the county.

An initial field survey has been completed on Illhaee Road, where a culvert and a large section of road washed away just west of Varsity Lane NE.

The county plans to do water modeling “to be sure of the correct size for a future structure.”

The county is required to consult with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to determine fish passage requirements and it is possible that a bridge could be constructed instead of a new culvert.

Construction on that project is not expected to begin before June.

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