Steilacoom Road Phase I

What's happening now?

August 14, 2015 - Project design has been somewhat hindered by the Federal listing for protection of the Mazama pocket gopher as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. This species resides on critical prairie habitat located within the project work limits. This has caused us to step back from the design work and focus on identifying and managing impacts in a way that will allow the project to move forward. Project environmental staff is working closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as state and local agencies to address these impacts, likely through the development of a habitat conservation plan (HCP). Development, review and approval of an HCP is likely to be a lengthy process. This work has now begun and we expect to re-start the design effort. Prior to the Federal listing, design staff made substantial progress on the geometric layout of the roadway/intersections and overall drainage design and had begun to focus on overhead and underground utility conflicts and lighting design. Consultants under contract for forester/arborist services (to identify tree and vegetation removal needs) and for landscaping services had also been put on hold temporarily. We expect to re-focus on the project design effort beginning in the fall and plan to begin construction in the spring of 2017.

June 18th, 2014: A public meeting was held on May 21, 2014 at Nisqually Middle School. Many people attended and gave comments, which we are going through so we can address them. The project are impacts to trees (and particularly oak trees) that we are seeking the assistance of an expert to determine how to minimize those impacts. We are working with the utilities that are in the road to ensure that the design minimizes impacts to them, or if not avoidable, how to have the utilities relocated. Utilities include Puget Sound Energy (PSE) power and gas, Century Link wires, and City of Lacey water. There are federally protected Mazama Pocket Gophers on the north end of the project and we are working with our County Planning Department and United States Fish and Wildlife (USFW) to determine how to mitigate impacts. We will be contacting property owners that we need to obtain right of way or an easement from in a few months. There is a formal procedure that our County Right of Way department uses to ensure a fair process. We would like to thank everyone who has participated in this project and appreciate your input. Please contact us if you have any questions.

OPEN HOUSE WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 2014, 4–7 P.M. NISQUALLY MIDDLE SCHOOL CAFETERIA. Thurston County Public Works has begun design of improvements to Steilacoom Road between Marvin Road and Pacific Avenue. Work will include construction of sidewalks, bicycle lanes, a center turn lane near Nisqually Middle School, street lighting and storm drainage improvements. You are invited to an open house to see the proposed improvements, ask questions of staff and comment on the proposed design.

Steilacoom Rd
Project plans will be available online at Builders Exchange of Washington
Questions or comments can be directed to :
Theresa Parsons