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43rd Ave SE Improvement Project reaches 60% design

Snohomish County's plan to provide better access for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians on 43rd Avenue SE from Maltby Road to Sunset Road at 180th Street SE has reached the 60% design stage. Utility relocation planning and right-of-way purchasing is also progressing.
43rd Avenue SE Improvement Project map. Image courtesy of Snohomish County.

From the Snohomish County website, May 14, 2021.

Snohomish County Public Works is planning arterial improvements on 43rd Avenue SE from Maltby Road (SR 524) to Sunset Road at 180th Street SE. This will provide better access and connectivity for motorists and pedestrians.

This project has reached 60% design and an updated design exhibit showing roadway improvements is available. The design report includes roadway section, intersection, and drainage alternatives for the project. Utility relocation planning and right-of-way purchasing is in progress.

The project includes widening 43rd Avenue SE from Maltby Road to 188th Street SE to a two-lane rural roadway section.

A new public road connection of approximately 1,400 feet between 200th Street SE and 196th Street SE is proposed.

The existing concrete sidewalks between 188th Street SE and Jewell Road/196th Street SE are proposed to be replaced with rural pedestrian facilities.

As well, two roundabouts will be installed on 43rd Avenue SE; one at Maltby Road and the other at 196th Street SE.

The draft schedule for this project has been updated and is as follows:

2016-2018: Completed field survey and preliminary design.

2019: Environmental studies.

October 2019: Completed traffic noise study.

December 2019: Public open house.

2020-2021: Design, right of way acquisitions and utility relocations.

2021: Go out for construction bids.

2022-2023: Construction of roadway.

Snohomish County's plan to provide better access for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians on 43rd Avenue SE from Maltby Road to Sunset Road at 180th Street SE has reached the 60% design stage. Utility relocation planning and right-of-way purchasing is also progressing.

Proposed roundabout at Maltby Road/43rd Avenue SE intersection. Image courtesy of Snohomish County.

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Comments

County Corruption

I live on 43rd ave SE. When we purchased our 2.5 acres on a lovely dead end road within walking distance to the school, I felt like we were so blessed to live here.  It was a safe and quiet street. Not at all what it is today.  

I know that for many people this road project is a good thing. For the people who've lived on 43rd for decades, it's quite the opposite. Everyone who lives on 43rd between 188th ave SE and Maltby Rd is currently having their lives and (for some) their land changed dramatically against their will. I'm beyond upset as I'm one of those with land the county is taking for the road project. 

The worst part is that it didn't have to happen this way. Back in 2005 the county had a chance to include this area into the SW Urban Growth Area (SWUGA).  This would've allowed residents to sell at the same prices given to our neighbors directly North, South and West of us. It also would've made it so the builders took on the lion share of the costs to perform studies and build the road and sidewalks instead of taxpayers. This new road could've been completed long before the new high school and hundreds of new homes were built. The county has admitted to the residents of 43rd that they did make a grave mistake by leaving us out when they did but have done nothing to fix it. Since then the residents of 43rd have gotten together as a group and tried to plead our case to the council to no avail. We are left surrounded by high density urban growth and North Creek high school and all the noise, pedestrians and traffic that comes with it.

Now the county is taking away the only buffer between the rural properties and the high density areas, our dead end.  We've already experienced what the traffic will be like when the dead end was opened for awhile during the Toll Brothers construction. It was horrific. Not at all what a rural road should be.  What's worse is the county is threatening us with condemnation if we do not comply and give up our property for the good of everyone but us. They're offering prices that are pathetically low and, in my opinion, a slap in the face, considering what we've had to endure up to this point. They won't share the appraisal used to value our land but won't pay for us to get our own and they also won't pay for us to get legal representation. I've reached out to the council recently and have received no response. Not even from Jared Mead who supposedly represents us. This whole process is so corrupt and unjust! 

County Council favors developers, not residents

I would like to add a few comments to above comment.

In 1976 I bought my first home on 43rd and I was there for 40 years. I bought it because I wanted a quit place were my 2 dogs had room to room. Being a dead-end street my dogs would wonder up the street and greet their friends and come home. There was an occasion  I tried to round up a couple of loose cows from next door.

But times changed and around 2005 the UGA came in to being. The neighborhood saw we would be inside the UGA with the Olympic Pipe being a natural buffer line between those in the UGA and those outside the UGA.

Seeing this several developers were looking at our area. Land on the street was in 1.2 to over 7 acre parcels. Many on our street were of retirement age and this gave them the opportunity to sell and move closer to kids or just downsize.

Much to our surprise when the county council voted on this and the line had moved from the Pipeline to the west side of 43rd alone everyone’s back fence line.

At that time Toll Brothers was in the process of getting permits for a high density development that would start at the dead-end of 188th SE on the East side of 43rd. This redrawing of the UGA made this development impossible.

They ended up suing the county and won putting this property back in the UGA, but it didn't include the rest of the street. So now we were 5 acre rural with a high density development on our north boarder.

By this time our neighborhood is attending county council meetings trying to figure out what happened to us. 

Toll Brothers said they would use a different road to get in and out of their development and promised a buffer zone of trees currently there and natural shrubs so they would be screened from us.

We were really naïve and trusted this to work out. In the end only a few trees were left and one can plainly see the houses from half way down the 43rd.

One not here we on 43rd were not trying to stop the Toll Brothers just trying to preserve our neighborhood. 

Over time with more and more development surrounding us we once again pleaded our case the council.  We had Terry Ryan (our council man), Sam Lowe, Dave Sommers, and others to meetings on our street. They drove the area came back and said we feel your pain.  Each one said they would try to help and in the end did nothing. 

Home values were going up around us but not on our street.

Moving forward the county decided to help the Toll Brothers by taking the dead end barriers away allowing large truck go up and down our 20 ft. wide 25 mph road.  We were not a sleep rural area anymore. 

Police gave out several speeding tickets going 70 mph.  One morning with so much traffic on the road my husband had to step in the road and stop traffic to allow our neighbor to pull out of the driveway and get her son a short distance to school; at that point it was too dangerous to walk along the road.  

By then we were working to get the street returned to a dead end again.  It took us 3 years but finally it got done.

Also around this time the county sent out people talk to us about future taking of our street frontage. They would pay pennies on the dollar or do eminent domain. When the lady knocked on our door, she told us our neighbor a couple house away had agreed to sell his frontage. I didn’t agree and later asked him and he had not agreed with her either. 

By them taking our frontage they would be taking out old cedars that were our shade on a hot afternoon.  They would also cut into our drain field and county-required reserve area.

People on 43rd have lived with all this stress to long.  It’s time for the county to be fair and put them in the UGA. This at least gives them the choice to stay or be able to sell at a fair price and move on.

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