Road crews are essential

Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, listed road maintenance and construction as essential infrastructure activities.

Crews use a vacuum truck to clean debris and standing water from a roadside drain. Cleaning out the drains help prevents them from flooding during rainy weather and
removing the solids from catch basins keeps dangerous pollutants out of fish bearing streams, protecting the health of our water systems.

“Our road maintenance crews keep roads and bridges in unincorporated King County safe and usable,” said Road Services Division Director Rick Brater.

“Delaying their work could cause immediate safety hazards as well as long-term deficiencies in the county’s road and bridge system. Catching up on delayed maintenance work in the future might be difficult or impossible, resulting in degraded road conditions and safety problems,” Brater said.

Delaying even routine maintenance tasks can have serious impacts on safety. Roadside mowing, for example, keeps vegetation from blocking visibility at intersections or driveways. Crews also keep areas safe and clear, and recently retrieved a discarded freezer from a roadside that could have posed a danger to curious neighborhood children, pedestrians, or other traffic.

Road Services is continuing to do its part to help reduce the spread of #COVID19, while actively protecting the health and safety of our workers and keeping our roads and bridges in unincorporated King County safe and usable.

Division One Roads Maintenance team observes social distancing.

Crews are following public health guidance while doing their work. They’re avoiding close contact with one another, typically driving one person per vehicle; using gloves as needed; and following enhanced cleaning practices for shared tools, equipment, and vehicles.

We ask the public to please stay clear of crews who are working on roadsides or in their vehicles. It’s important for their safety and yours to observe social distancing and allow at least six feet of distance if you need to speak to a maintenance worker.

Road Services maintenance crews performing snow removal work in Skykomish.

To learn more, visit the Road Services page.

Call us for help with road maintenance and traffic safety issues in unincorporated King County, such as downed stop signs, signals that are out, or trees over the roadway — 24 hours a day at our 24/7 Road Helpline 206-477-8100 or 1-800-527-6237 (1-800-KC-ROADS)

For latest COVID-19 related news, visit kingcounty.gov/covid.

State and local officials announce new recommendations to reduce risk of spread of COVID-19

Note: The following is a news release from Public Health – Seattle & King County:

State and local health officials announced new guidance to King County residents aimed at reducing their risk of exposure to COVID-19. While all residents can take steps now, people with underlying health conditions are urged to pay special attention to recommendations to avoid large gatherings of people. Public Health – Seattle & King County also announced on Wednesday ten additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in King County residents, including one death. This brings the total of confirmed cases to 31, including nine deaths.

Dr. Jeff Duchin with Public Health - Seattle & King County speaks to reporters during a press conference on the latest news involving COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, on March 4, 2020 in Seattle, Wash.
Dr. Jeffrey Duchin with Public Health – Seattle & King County speaks to reporters during a press conference on the latest news involving COVID-19, known commonly as the coronavirus.
Continue reading State and local officials announce new recommendations to reduce risk of spread of COVID-19

King County 2020 Community Service Area grants awarded

King County announced 45 volunteer-led community events and projects that will be expanded in unincorporated communities with grants of up to $5,000 each.

Learn more about our Community Service Grants on the Local Services website.

The community groups successfully competed for a total of $92,500 in grants, which range between $500 and $4,750 each. Community organizations are required to match at least one quarter of the total project costs. The projects must be accessible to all residents, regardless of race, income, or language spoken.

Grants were awarded to community organizations throughout King County’s Community Service Areas. This year’s successful applications include:

  • Snoqualmie Valley Community Network—support for a youth leadership summit.
  • Skyway Solutions—support for a community festival.
  • Federal Way Senior Center—funds to buy 100 chairs for use at the center.
Continue reading King County 2020 Community Service Area grants awarded

Cleaning up: King County Conservation Corps update

The King County Conservation Corps is a partnership between King County’s Solid Waste Division, Department of Local Services, and Millionair Club Charity. Under the agreement, five-person crews provide services on weekdays in the urban unincorporated areas.

Watch Conservation Corps crews clean up graffiti and trash in White Center.
Continue reading Cleaning up: King County Conservation Corps update

FarmKingCounty.org offers resources for farming businesses

Running a farm business is complex. Thorough business planning may help you access financing to start your farm or diversify your farm as you grow your business. Many types of financing for farms (from grants to traditional bank loans) will have different requirements such as what they will cover, amount available, deadlines, or interest rates. Your business may need employees. Labor laws dictate what is allowable — from hiring family members who are children, to paying employees by the amount harvested — and what recordkeeping is required. And like any business, farms are required to pay taxes. However, farms are also eligible for tax benefits and exemptions.

Continue reading FarmKingCounty.org offers resources for farming businesses

Roads crews able to reopen NE Ames Lake Road following slide

 

Triggered by heavy rain and saturated soil, the ground under NE Ames Lake Road gave way, forcing its closure. Crews were able to remove enough debris from a nearby creek to put it back on course, which allowed them to make emergency repairs and reopen the road.
The ground under NE Ames Lake Road that gave way during this month’s heavy rains.

Road Services crews were busy over the long Presidents’ Day weekend this month.

One of its major accomplishments was reopening NE Ames Lake Road at State Route 202. The road closed nearly three weeks ago when sections of land under the road gave way due to slide damage in the valley directly below the road. Continue reading Roads crews able to reopen NE Ames Lake Road following slide

Adult Beverage Ordinance sets rules for businesses

Pictured is a stock photograph of a someone pouring red wine into a glass at a tasting room.

King County’s Adult Beverage Ordinance 19030 went into effect on Jan. 3, 2020.

This ordinance updates development regulations related to all adult beverage businesses—including wineries, breweries, distilleries, and remote tasting rooms—in unincorporated King County.

This ordinance will help King County prepare for and support the future evolution of the adult beverage industry in the region. It better implements and complies with the policies of King County’s Comprehensive Plan, Growth Management Act, and countywide planning policies. Continue reading Adult Beverage Ordinance sets rules for businesses

Roads lends hand during Skykomish snow emergency

This month’s wintry weather hit the Skykomish area especially hard.

Dozens of downed trees caught in power lines closed roads and knocked out electricity throughout Skykomish and Baring, making it hazardous to even plow the roads.

Despite that, our Road Services Division crews were able to help the community as they waited for the green light to begin making side roads accessible: Continue reading Roads lends hand during Skykomish snow emergency

Local Services’ 19: Top Accomplishments of 2019

What a first year!

Our goals were clear: create a department and begin delivering improved government services to the diverse residents and businesses of unincorporated King County.

We took that and ran with it, retooling how the county listens to residents, works collaboratively with them, and acts in their communities.

Here are 19 accomplishments we racked up in 2019: Continue reading Local Services’ 19: Top Accomplishments of 2019

Brater named ‘County Engineer of the Year’

Road Services Director Rick Brater holds his "County Road Engineer of the Year" plaque.
Road Services Director Rick Brater with his “County Engineer of the Year” plaque.

Road Services Division Director Rick Brater has been named the Washington State County Road Administration Board’s “County Engineer of the Year.”

He received the award at the Board’s Summer Conference in June.

Nominated by King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert, Brater was recognized as a strong manager and leader who is responsible for a regional transportation system of 1,500 miles of roads and 182 bridges, and a staff of 400 people, including six maintenance divisions.

Brater, whom the Metropolitan King County Council appointed Director of Local Services’ Road Services Division in March and who has been with King County more than 17 years, was recognized in several areas: Continue reading Brater named ‘County Engineer of the Year’