A road crossing the oxbow?

Looking closely at some moves the County Council has made in the past years and a new chart buried in the Frederickson Community Plan that is about to go to the Council for Final approval on October 27, it is apparent the road easement the planners put along the south side of Liberty Middle School is to be connected to 208th Street East. That means they will either build a bridge or a horrible hill of land over a culvert crossing the oxbow.

Pierce County has no Department of Ecology. Pierce County has no means to professionally determine that blocking an existing waterway is a detriment to the water resources of the county. They hire outside professionals. If you want to see how well that has worked, Canyon Road over Clover Creek, 208th Street at about 31st Avenue are a couple of great examples of their – whatever it takes to get the building project done – mentality.

Pierce County Planning and Public Works are bother under the same Director, Dennis Hanberg. Obviously, whatever Planning needs, Public Works can provide. The County Council owns an easement for Canyon Road South to 224th Street, however, they voted last year to extend it only to 208th Street. Planners have said the trucks from the industrial area will not be allowed to travel over 208th Street west of the development at 30th Avenue. They are required to travel 38th Avenue and turn on 192nd to Canyon Road which has a road base built for the weight of the truck. However, you see them trying to make the corner at 38th Avenue and 176th Street all the time, even though that road base was never improved for the weight. Therefore, who really thinks they won’t turn west toward the Mountain Highway?

208th Street in the other direction terminates at 66th Avenue. Making neither end of the road plausible for truck traffic. So why are they not going to continue it to 224th where the road is strong enough for the weight of the truck traffic? Well, that is because of a rule that they cannot improve a road outside of the Urban Growth Area. And those of us living there know, all the traffic is already moving to 224th anyway. It really is a huge comedy of errors committed by people who sit in Tacoma (or Seattle at the PSRC*) and don’t understand the reality of living here.

So you look at the chart from the Frederickson Community Plan. In the lower right corner is 208th Street with a dashed line. This indicated it will be dropped down over the hill, across the oxbow that fills with water like a lake in many winters, then crosses private property that they will have to condemn using eminent domain, over Eustice Hunt Road and past Liberty Middle School. Did that make sense? I will post a photo or two here. The plan appears to have 208th connect to 86th Avenue, so apparently 86th will eventually go through all the way to 112th Street.

The county will surely harm the historic oxbow and put truck traffic and noise right beside the Middle School. Granted, it will take truck traffic away from the intersection of 204th and Eustice Hunt where the corner is not sufficient for trucks to turn. The trucks have to clear traffic at the intersection to make the corner coming from Frederickson on 204th and turning toward 224th Street.

Who is going to approve this? Who is going to make sure it doesn’t cause more flooding in the remainder of the homes beside the oxbow? Residents along that tempermental waterway, that seems to rise and fall on a whim in some rainy seasons and not others, would love to know as well. Will they build a bridge to keep from impacting it? Or will they push a mound of dirt over it with questionable effect on the water table? Who will ensure the work is done properly? Who will be in charge of the hydrology? The County does not have any licensed hydrologists.

Two County Council people have voiced concerns over the Frederickson Community Plan, they other five will be enough votes to pass it. If you live in Frederickson, you need to contact your Council about this now. Write them all. Write the County Executive. Demand some answers about how they are reformatting the community land use.

Read the Frederickson Community Plan and others here. A little warning, Frederickson is in the middle of this with 3 other plans, total it’s about 1000 pages long.

Here are the emails for the Council Members: Dave.Morell@piercecountywa.gov; marty.campbell@piercecountywa.gov; douglas.richardson@co.pierce.wa.us; jim.mccune@co.pierce.wa.us; derek.young@co.pierce.wa.us; cladenb@co.pierce.wa.us; pam.roach@co.pierce.wa.us
That’s Dave Morell (1), Marty Campbell (5), Doug Richardson (6), Jim McCune (3), Derek Young (7), Connie Ladenburg (4), Pam Roach (2).

The County Executive, Bruce Dammeier is at Bruce.Dammeier@PierceCountyWA.gov.

  • PSRC = Puget Sound Regional Council

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s