Missing Mountain Road is Under Construction

Posted January 28, 2020 at 8:10 am by

Construction has begun - Nancy DeVaux photo

By Louise Dustrude

The road through the grav­el pit con­nect­ing Turn Point Road and Pear Point Road is under con­struc­tion, more than 10 years after it was for­mal­ly agreed to. The coun­ty is ful­fill­ing a com­mit­ment it made to the town in 2009.

It will be called Miss­ing Moun­tain Road, allud­ing to the actu­al removal of a hill by grav­el pit oper­a­tions over many years.

It is expect­ed to be com­plet­ed by the mid­dle of March. The con­trac­tor is Williamson Con­struc­tion out of Deming.

The road will be 30 feet wide over­all, with 11-foot lanes and four-foot shoul­ders, wider than either of the roads it connects.

It is tak­ing the east­ern por­tion of the grav­el pit, and the perime­ter walk­ing trail there has been moved to the west to accom­mo­date it.

After com­ple­tion, coun­ty engi­neer Col­in Hunte­mer will invite Island Rec mem­bers and oth­ers to walk with him and reach a con­sen­sus about where the trail should be placed. Hunte­mer feels it is dif­fi­cult to envi­sion where it should go until the road is in. The new trail and the fence between it and the new road will be built at coun­ty expense.

The coun­ty will at the same time fix the pot­holes on the Jack­son Beach road.

Con­tro­ver­sy over the road held it up until now. A num­ber of groups sup­port­ed it, and oth­ers opposed it. The town’s inter­est was in get­ting heavy traf­fic off War­bass, a very nar­row one-way route to town which drops traf­fic right at the fer­ry load­ing lanes.

Heavy grav­el trucks come in at the ship­yard and head to var­i­ous des­ti­na­tions on the island, but until now they have had to go through town. Now they will be able to take alter­nate routes.

Oth­er traf­fic may also choose to take the alter­nate route and avoid the fer­ry park­ing area.

The San Juan Com­mu­ni­ty Home Trust has been lim­it­ed to 60 homes until the road was in place, and the neigh­bor­ing prop­er­ty owned by the fam­i­ly of Car­olyn Nor­man, Vin­cent Buck, and Jai Boreen has not been allowed to be devel­oped until this road was constructed.

Once that prop­er­ty is devel­oped, a trail – long sought by the San Juan Island Trails Com­mit­tee – will be opened to con­nect the ele­men­tary school (and the rest of town) with the grav­el pit and Jack­son Beach. There is cur­rent­ly no safe, legal walk­ing route through the area for school chil­dren and others.

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One comment...

  1. I can’t believe they are going ahead with the name “Miss­ing Moun­tain Road”. The orig­i­nal ‘moun­tain’ was Bald Hill and a ref­er­ence to the his­tor­i­cal name makes far more sense to me. Fur­ther­more, trucks com­ing in by barge at Ship­yard Cove will NOT be able to access the new road until they install an appro­pri­ate turn-around.

    Comment by Jeri Ahrenius on January 29, 2020 at 10:03 am

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