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Work to install final top layer of pavement.
Fifteen Mile Creek Bridge No. 493C connects Issaquah, Renton, and Maple Valley. The bridge is located between Tiger Mountain State Forest and Squak Mountain State Park Natural Area.

Status update

Winter 2022

King County is on schedule to start construction in July 2023 and complete the project in fall 2023. To ensure public safety, the bridge will be closed for up to three months at the start of construction in summer 2023, view the general traffic detour map. PDF 1MB

Project area map

Map. Link to larger PDF view.
Map showing the Fifteen Mile Creek Bridge Replacement Project location on SE May Valley Road, just west of the intersection with Issaquah-Hobart Road SE.
Larger view of the map PDF 1MB

Why King County is replacing this bridge

New bridge cross-section.
Larger view of the cross-section graphic PDF 361KB

We are replacing the Fifteen Mile Creek Bridge because it is past its useful life. We have repaired this bridge many times over the years, and now it is time to replace it. The new bridge will be designed to meet current national bridge standards. These standards include weight capacity, lane and shoulder widths, and environmental protection.

Improves safety by:

  • Adding standard 8-foot shoulders on each side of the bridge for people walking, biking, and rolling.
  • Increasing the height of the bridge railings by 14 inches, enhancing safety in the event of a collision.
  • Raising the height of the bridge over the creek, providing more room for water to flow underneath during high-water events.

Environmental benefits:

  • The existing wooden bridge support piles are treated with creosote, which can be harmful to fish and the environment. This project removes the creosote support piles from the stream and replaces them with an out-of-water steel and concrete support system.

Maintains reliable routes for the community:

  • The Fifteen Mile Creek Bridge replacement project is a long-term investment in route reliability, maintaining the connections between Issaquah, Maple Valley, and Renton. In 2009 and 2010, we also replaced two other bridges on the route connecting SR 900 and Issaquah-Hobart Road SE.

Getting through the construction zone

Work is scheduled to begin in summer 2023 to avoid the rainy season and minimize impacts on school bus service during the school year. We studied the option of building a temporary bridge during construction, but our studies showed that a temporary bridge would double construction time, be more expensive, and increase impacts on the environment, immediate neighbors, and the traveling public.

The existing bridge will be closed for 10-12 weeks during the summer months of construction, and a temporary signed detour route will be in place. The detour will add approximately ten (10) minutes to travel time.

Temporary detour route

The general traffic detour route will only be active during summer 2023 when the bridge is fully closed.

General traffic detour route map.
Larger view of the general traffic detour map PDF 1MB

Alternate truck routes

Trucks are not allowed on roads in downtown Issaquah, including SE Newport Way, so they must use alternate routes such as State Route 169, State Route 18, Interstate 90, Cedar Grove Road SE, and SE 128th Street.

Alternate truck routes map.
Larger view of the alternate truck routes map PDF 1MB

Project schedule

King County is in the design process for a replacement bridge, with final design, right-of-way acquisition and environmental permitting expected to be completed in 2022 and construction projected to begin in 2023.

Schedule.
Larger view of the project schedule graphic PDF 122KB

Frequently asked questions

The new bridge will be 38 feet wide, with two 11-foot-wide travel lanes and two 8-foot-wide shoulders. The span (length) of the new bridge will be 65-feet-long. The longer span will allow the new concrete bridge footings to be located outside of the stream channel. The existing bridge is 27-feet-wide and 38-feet-long.

Cross-section graphic.
Larger view of the cross-section graphic PDF 361B


Side-view graphic.
Larger view of the sideview graphic PDF 361B
The new bridge will be built in the same location as the existing bridge. This project will not change anything about the location of the road or the bridge.

Cross-section. Graphic.
No, there will be no weight restrictions. The new bridge will be designed to meet current bridge standards. The bridge will be open to all vehicles, including cars, trucks, and emergency vehicles, as well as to people biking, walking, and rolling.
Road Services installed temporary support beams called "stringers" under this bridge. This temporary repair prevented the need to put a weight restriction on the bridge until a new replacement bridge is in place.
We are closing the bridge for construction during the summer for three main reasons. First, there is more daylight, temperatures are warmer, and there is less rain, which allows our contractor to get more work done during the day. Second, this time of year is also known as the fish window, which is the period when it is safe to perform in-water construction work without disrupting salmon migration. Third, closing the road during the summer allows us to keep the road open during the school year, which helps buses and people driving children to school avoid detour delays.
We know the full roadway closure is very inconvenient to travelers and neighbors and we are doing everything we can to speed up construction. The project team designed the project with several innovative elements to minimize the time that the bridge needs to be closed. We will build part of the bridge offsite, use specialized concrete that cures more quickly, and coordinate with the construction contractor to complete the work as quickly as possible.
No, people walking, riding a bicycle or other non-motorized vehicle will not be able to cross the creek during the full road closure.
The contractor will protect the creek during construction by routing it through a temporary bypass pipe. Routing the creek through a bypass pipe will prevent construction-related materials from being released into the water. The contractor will also install barriers to prevent demolition materials from entering the creek and surrounding area.
While flooding has never over-topped onto the roadway, we are preparing for the possibility of higher water events due to climate change.

The new bridge will raise the bridge deck higher from the stream bed than the existing bridge. Raising the bridge deck creates more space for the water and floating debris to move freely under the bridge, even during high-water events. The higher bridge deck also will reduce the risk of flooding onto the roadway and provide a larger opening for floodwaters to pass through, which will reduce flood levels along the stream.

The City of Issaquah is planning to reinstall their flood monitoring device on the new bridge. The flood sensor is part of a citywide network that helps to indicate where water levels are high and predict flooding during heavy rain or storms.

Photos

Narrow bridge.
The existing bridge does not have shoulders. The new bridge adds two 8-foot shoulders to the roadway.


Sidewalk one side.
The existing bridge has a pedestrian sidewalk on one side of the bridge. The new bridge will have pedestrian pathways on both sides of the bridge.


Substandard rails.
The wooden guardrail posts are aging and worn out. The project will replace the old wooden posts with a new, all-steel guardrail system.


Under the bridge.
King County Road Services installed steel supports under the existing bridge to help strengthen the old, worn out timber cross beams.


Deteriorating cap.
Some of the timber support beams on the existing bridge are worn out. The new bridge replaces the timber beams with concrete bridge foundations.


Elevation view.
From this view of the bridge looking south, see the creosote-treated timber piles which are touching the water.
Contact us

24/7 Road Helpline: 206-477-8100 or 1-800-527-6237

TTY Relay: 711

Twitter: @KCRoads