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Photo: Upper Tokul Creek Bridge.
Upper Tokul Creek Bridge No. 271B over Tokul Creek, less than two miles north of Snoqualmie Falls.

Latest updates

November 19, 2018

King County Road Services hosted a community open house at the Snoqualmie Fire Department on Tuesday, November 19. Project staff showcased and discussed conceptual design alternatives for the project. The public comment period to help select the bridge design option begins on November 19 and ends on December 3, 2019.

Project overview

The Upper Tokul Creek Bridge No. 271B provides sole access to approximately 50 single-family homes and is also used by nearby forest and mining industry vehicles. The bridge is located less than two miles north of Snoqualmie Falls where Tokul Creek Road SE crosses Tokul Creek.

While safe for travel, the 54-year-old bridge is aging and requires frequent repairs. In addition, the current bridge is too narrow and has weight limit restrictions. This project will replace the deteriorated bridge with one that will serve the community’s needs long term.

Project goals

  • Design a bridge that meets current standards and minimizes impact to neighboring property and the natural environment.
  • Maintain convenient access to community members.
  • Properly handle and dispose of contaminated materials.
  • Select the new bridge alternative by utilizing various evaluation criteria, which includes community feedback.

Project schedule

King County is in the process of selecting a preferred alternative for a replacement bridge, with construction projected to begin in 2022. The preliminary estimated total project cost is $5.9 million.

Schedule for the Upper Tokul Creek Bridge project.
Enlarged view of schedule   JPG 268KB

Bridge access for residents and emergency vehicles will be maintained throughout construction. Construction activities will include demolition, concrete pouring, and crane lifts. After the new bridge is opened to traffic, crews will continue low impact restoration work including plantings and site clean-up.

Help us select the preferred alternative for your new bridge

The public comment period to help select the design of the new bridge started on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 and ended on Tuesday, December 3, 2019.

Find images of the bridge alternative options below:

You can submit your bridge alternative preference and comments to Broch.Bender@kingcounty.gov . The preferred alternative will be selected in early 2020. We will then move into the final design phase of the selected alternative.

 

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Public outreach materials

Project fact sheet PDF 2MB

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Broch Bender, Communications Program Manager
Desk 206-263-1189
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Map: Upper Tokul Creek Bridge project location.
Enlarged view of map   JPG 263KB

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Upper Tokul Creek Bridge Alternative A. Image contains a map showing the proposed bridge location, map legend, and graphics of the different construction stages.

OVERVIEW

Shifts new bridge 32 feet west of its current location to maintain two-lane traffic during construction. Construction lasts approximately 8 months.

ADVANTAGES

  • Improves visibility approaching the bridge from the south
  • Maintains two lanes of traffic across existing bridge during construction*
  • Constructs new bridge and demolishes existing bridge in two stages lasting approximately eight months, four months less than other alternatives

DISADVANTAGES

  • Improves visibility approaching the bridge from the south
  • Maintains two lanes of traffic across existing bridge during construction*
  • Constructs new bridge and demolishes existing bridge in two stages lasting approximately eight months, four months less than other alternatives

*A feasibility study is needed to determine if construction trucks and equipment will be able to comply with weight restrictions on the current bridge. If they do not comply, the project will need to build a temporary bridge.

Upper Tokul Creek Bridge Alternative B. Image contains a map showing the proposed bridge location, map legend, and graphics of the different construction stages.

OVERVIEW

Shifts new bridge 10 feet west of its current location to minimize impact to existing driveways but still maintain one-lane traffic during construction. Construction lasts approximately 12 months.

ADVANTAGES

  • Improves visibility approaching the bridge from the south
  • Does not require a temporary bridge*
  • Requires less property acquisition than Alternative A but more property acquisition than Alternative C

DISADVANTAGES

  • Constructs the new bridge in five stages
  • Reduces traffic to single-lane access during construction controlled by temporary traffic signal
  • Requires some vegetation removal and regrading work on existing private property
  • Approximately 45 medium-to-large trees would be removed from the site, fewer trees than Alternative A, but more trees than Alternative C

*A feasibility study is needed to determine if construction trucks and equipment will be able to comply with weight restrictions on the current bridge. If they do not comply, the project will need to build a temporary bridge.

Upper Tokul Creek Bridge Alternative C. Image contains a map showing the proposed bridge location, map legend, and graphics of the different construction stages.

OVERVIEW

Removes existing bridge and places the new bridge in its place to maintain existing roadway alignment. One-lane of traffic will be maintained during construction by using a temporary detour bridge. Construction lasts approximately 12 months.

ADVANTAGES

  • Improves visibility approaching the bridge from the south
  • Traffic shifts to a temporary, single-lane bridge with no weight restrictions during construction
  • Requires least property acquisition of all three alternatives
  • Requires minimal vegetation removal and regrading work on adjacent property
  • Approximately 40 medium-to-large trees would be removed from the site, fewer trees than the other two alternatives

DISADVANTAGES

  • Constructs new bridge in six stages
  • Requires construction of a temporary bridge

Frequently-asked questions

The County has determined the 54-year-old bridge has outlived its useful life and is at risk of being closed due to age and condition. The aging timber support structure is decaying, which requires frequent and major repairs. These repairs are costly over time and inconvenience bridge users. In addition, the current bridge is too narrow, does not have shoulders and cannot accommodate very heavy trucks that are standard today.
Yes. The existing bridge is safe for use by vehicles that comply with posted weight and size restrictions. The Road Services Bridge Inspection team inspects the bridge every two years to ensure it is safe to use. If repairs are needed, the inspection team works with County maintenance staff to perform the necessary repairs.
The bridge provides sole access to approximately 50 single-family homes as well as industry vehicles accessing nearby forest service and mining areas. Approximately 417 cars and 40 large haul trucks use the bridge each day.
The bridge will be 34 feet wide, with two 11-foot wide travel lanes and two 6-foot wide shoulders. The specific bridge design elements will be determined once an alternative is selected in early 2020. The new bridge is expected to be constructed primarily out of steel reinforced concrete and built to current seismic standards. Steel reinforced concrete is commonly used for bridges of this size and type, as it is economical and durable.
The final selection of the bridge design and location will depend on several criteria including technical assessment and feedback from area residents and stakeholders. The technical assessment will analyze various bridge types, sizes, and locations (including the current location). This analysis will be used to create possible design alternatives which will be presented to area stakeholders for feedback at a public meeting.
Access will be maintained throughout construction. The exact location of this temporary access is still being determined as part of the current study, but it will be close proximity to the existing bridge.
Construction is anticipated to last approximately 12 to 18 months depending on the bridge design alternative selected. During this time, heavy equipment will be on site and construction activities will include demolition, concrete pouring, and crane lifts. After the new bridge is opened to traffic, crews will continue low impact restoration work including plantings and site clean-up.
No. The new bridge will be designed to meet current bridge safety specifications and standards.
Yes, there are. The current weight limits for single unit vehicles are:

3 Axles or less – 23 tons
4 Axles – 21 tons
5 Axles – 22 tons
6 Axles – 23 tons
7 Axles – 24 tons

The Road Services Division regularly inspects the bridges it is responsible for maintaining. If new restrictions are required based on these inspections, a notice will be posted on the bridge. We will also note any new restrictions on the Bridge Weight Restrictions website.
The bridge replacement project will remove, transport, and dispose of the existing creosote-treated timber at an approved disposal facility where possible.
The preliminary estimated total project budget is $5.9 million. This includes engineering studies and design, environmental documentation and permitting, right-of-way acquisition if necessary, construction, inspection and project closeout. The project is funded through King County’s Capital Improvement Program.

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