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Existing culvert.
The existing corrugated metal pipe is rusting away and must be replaced.

Status update

Monday, July 26, 2021

Construction is underway and will last through early fall 2021. Portable traffic signals at both ends of the construction zone are in place to regulate traffic through the active construction zone. This traffic light allows several vehicles through at a time.

Full road closures: There will be up to six (6) temporary full road closures on this project. The first two are currently planned for Aug. 9 and 10. These dates are subject to change. Check this webpage, the MyCommute website and portable message signs at the project site for the latest information.

Two more will occur in late August or September; the final two (if needed) will happen before October. Each closure will last up to four (4) hours long, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Emergency services, such as Fire, Aid and Sheriff will be maintained during each closure.

No vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians will be allowed past the construction zone when the road is closed. We will post closure notification signs at least one week in advance of all full closures. Please plan accordingly.


Map showing the Lake Joy Culvert Replacement Project location.
NE Lake Joy Road just north of NE 118th Place. The Lake Joy community is northeast of Stillwater and Carnation, and east of SR 203. NE Lake Joy Road is the only road into and out of the community.

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Broch Bender, Communications Manager
Desk: 206-263-1189
Mobile: 206-584-6174

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Project description

This project replaces an existing 4-foot-round diameter underground metal pipe culvert with a new, 14-foot-wide, eight-foot-high concrete box culvert. The existing corrugated metal culvert is rusting and has outlived its useful life. The larger concrete culvert will help prevent flooding and improve fish passage under NE Lake Joy Road by simulating natural stream conditions.

Why is King County doing this project?

The existing round culvert pipe is failing. It is old and worn out. If the pipe is not replaced, flood water and debris could exceed the capacity of the existing culvert and cause road damage or worse, it could wash the road away completely.

In addition, the existing metal culvert does not meet current design standards for flood control and healthy fish passage. Healthy fish passage requires a culvert that is large enough to handle swift water during storm events. The culvert also must be able to hold enough water during the dry season for fish to swim through.

The new, wider culvert will be built to modern standards It will help prevent flooding and allow fish to migrate freely upstream or downstream with minimal impact.

What to expect during construction

Construction work is expected to last up to 10 weeks.

To do this work, King County must remove a section of NE Lake Joy Road to take out the old, worn out pipe, install the new culvert, and repave the road. Traffic will be diverted onto a temporary bypass lane adjacent to the work zone. The surface of the temporary bypass lane will be made of gravel, and may be uneven in parts. Motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians should use extra care when using the gravel road. In addition, the temporary bypass lane will be 11-feet wide, and a traffic signal will only allow only one vehicle on the road at a time.

Frequently asked questions

Work begins on July 19, 2021 and is scheduled to be done in early fall 2021.
They will work up to 12 hours a day Monday through Friday.
Yes. King County will maintain local access throughout the project.
The work will be occasionally noisy with backhoes moving dirt, cranes moving pieces of culvert into place and then trucks rebuilding the road.
NE Lake Joy Road is the only way into and out of the community it serves. For this reason, King County must build a temporary bypass road next to the construction site to keep NE Lake Joy Road open and available to traffic at all times. It takes several more weeks to replace an underground culvert when crews must keep the road open to traffic throughout construction.
The closures are needed to make room for a very large crane that will lift and place sections of the new concrete culvert into place. Each concrete section weighs approximately 29,000 pounds, and the crane requires the full width of both lanes to operate safely. The road will be closed to all vehicles, bikes and pedestrians.
As of July 26, 2021: The first two closures are planned for August 9 and 10. Each closure will take approximately four (4) hours, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. We expect to have a total of up to six (6) full closures in August and September. Emergency vehicles will have access to the Lake Joy community throughout each closure. Crews will place advance notification signs with the confirmed road closure dates on NE Lake Joy Road at least one week in advance of each closure. In addition, all confirmed road closure dates will be posted to the My Commute website.
Yes. Emergency services, such as Fire, Aid and Sheriff will be maintained during each closure, however it may take them extra time to respond because they will be entering from private back roads. We strongly suggest residents and community members plan ahead for the closures. Folks who have appointments during the day, or otherwise may need to come and go from the Lake Joy community between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on days the road is closed should make a plan to stay with friends or relatives, or be elsewhere for the duration of the closure.
The total project cost including design and construction is $2 million.
Contact us

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

TTY Relay: 711

Twitter: @KCRoads