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Major work completed.
October 15, 2021 – Crews completed all of the major work on the project and reopened the road to two-way traffic with temporary centerline striping. Final striping work will occur later this month.

Status update

Monday, October 18, 2021

The road is now reopen to two-way traffic. Crews will be on site in the area through October as they replant trees and finish up other punch list items. Many thanks to the Lake Joy community for your patience throughout this project. Enjoy your new culvert!


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

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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.

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

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 by early October, 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 September 14, 2021: This project no longer requires any additional full road closures. The dates of the former road closures were: August 31 and August 9.
The total project cost including design and construction is $2 million.

Project photos

Restored streambed.
September 27, 2021 – The streambed is now restored and the stream is able to pass through the finished culvert.

Large rollers in use, September 20, 2021.
September 20, 2021 - Crews use large rollers to smooth over the newly installed asphalt on one half of the roadway. The other half will be paved later in September or in early October, weather permitting.

Looking underneath NE Lake Joy Road, September 20, 2021.
September 20, 2021 - A view from underneath NE Lake Joy Road, looking under the culvert as crews install the new road above.

Streambed installed, September 20, 2021.
September 20, 2021 - The streambed is now installed on the floor of the box culvert. The stream will be reintroduced after the road on top of the culvert is fully built.

Moving concrete slabs, August 31, 2021.
A large crane is used to move concrete slabs off of the semi-truck and onto the ground below.

Moving last sections of concrete into place, August 31, 2021.
Workers move one of the last sections of concrete into place on the second half of the new culvert.

Moving last sections of concrete into place, August 31, 2021.
Here’s a view of the culvert looking west just after the second half was installed. The first half of the culvert was installed on August 9, 2021. The second half was installed on August 31, 2021. The first half has rocks on the floor of the culvert to mimic the bottom of a natural stream. Crews also will add rocks to the second half.

New concrete culvert.
The first section of the new concrete culvert is lowered into place on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021.

Old culvert pipe.
King County dug out and removed the old, rusted corrugated metal culvert pipe on Aug. 2, 2021.

Deep pit excavation.
Crews excavate a 20-foot-deep pit to install the first sections of the new concrete culvert, Aug. 3, 2021.

New culvert arrives.
The first three sections of new concrete culvert arrive at the project site on Aug. 9, 2021. Crews used a large crane to install them under NE Lake Joy Road.
Contact us

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

TTY Relay: 711

Twitter: @KCRoads