Reconstruction on a one-mile stretch of the Index-Galena Road in Eastern Snohomish County has finally started. The stretch of road between mile post 6.4 and 6.9 has been a total loss since the floods of November 2006 – almost 15 years ago. Residents, visitors, emergency services and the US Forest Service have been driving a 40-mile detour using Beckler River Road and Jack Pass ever since.

Snohomish County Public works is performing the $20 million repair job that will include relocating the roadway out of the upper North Fork of the Skykomish River floodplain, reducing flood risk to the road. Construction in this area has seasonal and environmental limitations. So the flood repair and roadway relocation work is expected to take three years with a target opening date of fall 2023.

The project will involve a nearly one-mile of reconstructed roadway including a new 180-foot long bridge, 16 culverts, geo-synthetic reinforced slopes, structural earth walls, a reinforced concrete box convert, and removal of the damaged and abandoned roadway and other associated materials.

Once completed, the project will restore local and recreational access to the area. The project’s environmental benefits will include providing more room for the river, and enhance river conditions for fish and other wildlife, all while providing economic benefits to the local community. County Public Works notes that all parts of the design and construction have been carefully vetted with partnering state, tribal and federal organizations to minimize disruption to the river and adjoining habitat.

Project funding is provided by the Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Funds, Federal Highway Administration Federal Lands Access Program Funds, Washington State County Road Administration Board Rural Arterial Program Funds, and Snohomish County Road Funds.

North Sound Meteorologist Ted Buehner worked more than 40 years for the National Weather Service (NWS) from 1977 to 2018. He is now an Everett Post Media team member. Together with Everett Post Weather Minute Podcasts, he provides morning and afternoon commute traffic and weather updates on both KRKO and KXA Radio, and sports reporting on KRKO.