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Guardrail.
New guardrail in unincorporated King County.


Damaged guardrail.
Damaged guardrail will be repaired or replaced.

New guardrail installation and tree removal begins in summer 2022

Beginning in summer 2022, King County will install new guardrail to improve driver safety in northeast and southeast King County. Work takes place June through December 2022.

Tree and stump removal

As part of the new installation work, 2 tree trunks and 2 stumps within 3 feet of the guardrail will be removed to improve safety on the following roads listed below. Two other trees will be trimmed. This type of work requires crews to move quickly through your neighborhood.

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Broch Bender, Communications Manager
Desk 206-263-1189
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2022 Tier 3 Guardrail Preservation vicinity map

Map of 2022 King County guardrail projects.

2022 Tier 3 Guardrail Preservation locations list

Work begins in Summer 2022


North King County

1
6th Avenue S
Myers Way S to S 112th Street
Guardrail upgrades, shoulder restoration
2
8th Avenue S
S 103rd Street to S 112th Street
Guardrail upgrades, shoulder restoration
3
NE 100th Street
West Snoqualmie Valley Road to 284th Avenue NE
Guardrail upgrades, shoulder restoration
4
NE 132nd Street
Avondale Rd NE to Bear Creek Road (bridge)
Guardrail upgrades, shoulder restoration
5
NE 133rd Street
Bear Creek Road to Trilogy Parkway NE (including bridge)
Guardrail upgrades, shoulder restoration
6
S Langston Road
64th Avenue S to 78th Avenue S
Guardrail upgrades, tree removal (3 + 1 stump), shoulder restoration
7
SE May Valley Road
164th Avenue SE to SR-900
Guardrail upgrades, tree removal (1 + 1 stump), shoulder restoration


South King County

1 164th Avenue SE
SE 224th Street to SE 240th Street
Guardrail upgrades, shoulder restoration
2 196th Avenue SE
SR-164 to SE 400th Street
Guardrail upgrades, shoulder restoration
3
196th Avenue SE & SE 456th Way
SE 488th Street to 212th Avenue SE
Guardrail upgrades, shoulder restoration
4
Cedar Grove Road SE
Bridge near Byers Road
Guardrail upgrades, shoulder restoration
5
S 282nd Street
46th Avenue S to 48th Avenue S
Guardrail upgrades, shoulder restoration
6 SE 208th Street
140th Avenue SE to 148th Avenue SE
Guardrail upgrades, shoulder restoration
7 SE Fish Hatchery Road
State Route 202 to 361st Avenue SE
Guardrail upgrades, shoulder restoration
8 SE Mirrormont Boulevard & 245th Avenue SE
Issaquah-Hobart Road SE to SE 146th Street
Guardrail upgrades, shoulder restoration
9 Tiger Mountain Road SE
Issaquah Hobart Road (N) to Issaquah Hobart Road (S)
Guardrail upgrades, shoulder restoration

Frequently asked questions

Guardrail is designed to keep vehicles upright in the event of a crash. When a vehicle rolls over or lands on the side, injuries are likely to be more severe. Barrier systems like guardrail keep the vehicle on the shoulder and upright which leads to less severe injuries.
The county is the local government for unincorporated areas of King County. Guardrail, which saves lives and reduces serious injury, is part of an on-going roadside safety program. The King County Strategic Plan commits to safe mobility and a local government that is efficient and accountable.
Placement of guardrail is based on a number of factors including topography, the length of the need, speed, alignment, and a five-year crash history focused on run-off-road collisions. Adverse road and weather conditions are also considered.

All traffic crash and collision data is reported and stored at the Washington State Transportation Data, GIS, and Modeling Office. This office is the source for the most complete and up-to-date information regarding any location in Washington State and is the source we use for crash and collision information. For information on crashes on your roadway, submit your data request to the Transportation Data, GIS, and Modeling Office.
The 2022 Tier 3 Guardrail Preservation Program will cost $1.6 million. The program's focus is the replacement of existing guardrail to bring it up to current standards.
Please report damage to guardrail to our 24/7 Road Helpline at 206-477-8100 or toll-free at 800-527-6237, or you may email maint.roads@kingcounty.gov.
Guardrail is installed by driving posts into the soil rather than by disturbing or removing soils. The compaction brought about by the process makes the posts more stable. In some cases where underground utilities or drainage is close to guardrail, holes are created using a large vacuum, the post is placed and the soil is compacted around it.
The County is responsible for maintenance of both the roadway and the shoulder which can include vegetation, wetland or nearby waterway. Protection can include straw mulch and logs to retain and filter water run-off.

For guardrail over rivers and streams, environmental engineers work with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife to determine if there is an adverse impact. Typically, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Hydraulic Project Approvals are secured for the project which include specific requirements to contain any debris.
Procurement of guardrail materials is up to the contractor(s) awarded the construction contract(s), with the exception of some end terminals which the contractor is directed to provide.
Guardrail is intended to absorb the energy of a crash by bending up to three feet. All trees within three feet of the guardrail are being removed. Roadways are safer when there are no immovable obstructions in the shoulder area or “clear zone”. Removing trees along the roadway edge could save lives by reducing the chance that a vehicle will crash into one of them if the vehicle veers off the road.
A Clear Zone is the area adjacent to a road where a driver can safely stop or regain control of a vehicle that has left the roadway, without hitting an immovable object (such as a utility pole or a tree). Some roads use paved shoulders as a clear zone, while others use the unpaved public right-of-way, up to ten feet from the edge of the road, as a clear zone. King County and WSDOT standards require all public roads to have adequate clear zones.
King County will only remove trees that are:
  • Located on a roadway scheduled to receive guardrail.
  • Within the public right-of-way (not on private property), within three feet of the guardrail.
  • Have a trunk larger than 4 inches diameter.
King County traffic safety engineers and landscape architects evaluate and determine if a tree must be removed from the side of the road. First, the traffic safety engineer and landscape architect identify trees that appear to be in the clear zone along the road. Next, each identified tree is then appraised to see if it meets the County’s requirements for removal. Requirements for removal include location, diameter, species, health and most importantly distance from the edge of the lane. If a tree meets the requirements it is tagged for removal.
Once a tree is removed, the trunk and branches are used in local wetlands and streams to slow or direct the flow of water and provide a natural habitat for animals. In some cases, the trunks are donated to local tribes and other environmental stewardship groups for reuse.
Road Services is working with the County’s Water and Land Resources Division to replace and replant trees as part of that division’s existing tree replacement program.
Dead or dying trees located along the road edge could fall onto the roadway during windy or stormy weather. These trees are generally identified and removed by the county landscape architect before they create a potential hazard for motorists.
Contact us

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

TTY Relay: 711

Twitter: @KCRoads