Purpose and Need Statement
The Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road is the only public motorized access to the Middle Fork Valley. The Middle Fork Valley is a popular recreation area located less than one hour drive from over one million people within the Seattle metropolitan area. The valley provides a wide range of recreational opportunities including sightseeing, hiking, mountain biking, pack and saddle use, rafting, kayaking, floating, swimming, hunting, fishing, camping, climbing, hot springs, picnicking and other activities.
The purpose of the proposed project is to improve the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road's operational safety and excessive maintenance efforts while improving access to recreational opportunities. To meet this purpose, several conditions of the Middle Fork Road require relief. These conditions, described in more detail in this section, include the following:
- Varying, inconsistent roadway widths
- Excessive maintenance needs and airborne dust
- Substandard driving surface that has potholes, wash-boarding, and loose gravel.
- Inadequate drainage
- Inadequate road warning signage and lack of designated travel lanes
Additional considerations, presented below, were identified as additional criteria that the project should attempt to meet. These considerations are based on concerns expressed by the partner agencies, other federal and state agencies, and the public. These considerations include the following:
- Complete improvements in a cost-effective manner.
- Minimize impacts to natural habitat, visual aesthetic quality, water quality, and recreation.
- Improve fish passage when feasible.
- Reduce road maintenance costs.
- Include feasible measures to discourage excessive speeds.