Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Tour of the Middle Fork Road, March 31, 2009

Yesterday I was given the opportunity to tour the Middle Fork Road past the road closure at Valley Camp, thanks to Dan Dovey, Professional Engineer, Traffic Control Engineer for King County. It's going to be a while before the Middle Fork Road is open for "business". The road remains closed at Valley Camp - it is too dangerous to hike/drive the road when contractors are at work. There have been about a dozen slides since January. Two of the worst slides are where the river bends near the roadway and the subgrade has been washed out below the road. Dan reports "The largest slide, which left barely a lane width of roadway on the uphill side, is expected to be complete in the next day or two." As of yesterday "they removed the failed roadway down to the river level and cut a notch in the existing rock to support the large and small rock that has been placed to restore the subgrade. Smaller rock will go on this and the new road will be completed with crushed gravel and compacted" Dovey explains.

In the meantime a Sheriff's deputy is stationed at the junction where the Middle Fork Road meets the Lake Dorothy Road (the Lake Dorothy Road is also closed due to a landslide). The deputy will be there through at least Wednesday. Dan said "the contractor hired them first for safety, keeping drivers from going past the closure and into their work zone, and second for prevention of vandalism and other undesirable impacts when major equipment is stored in a remote location."

According to Dovey the contractor is on week 2 of a 12-week project. Check back for updates.


skye said...

any update on the road? this is a bummer! does this mean no access to camping along the middle fork at all?

Jacob said...

Thanks for the info, I traveled to the road closure today as it has always been a beautiful drive up middle fork and I was disappointed to see the road had been closed. I heard rumors that vandalism and lawlessness were to blame for the closure but it is good to hear that the county is working to open the road for travel. If you could send me a email when the road is opened I would greatly appreciate that; .

Once again thank you and good job on getting the facts!