Monday, September 26, 2016

A deep-rooted dilemma along SR 522 in Woodinville

By Justin Fujioka

Working in transportation, I never thought I would learn so much about trees. It turns out that knowing the various types of trees along our highways can be vital – especially for windstorms and our latest botanical bind… root disease.

A few months ago, our landscaping crew investigated reports of a downed tree along State Route 522 at State Route 202 in Woodinville and discovered something even more concerning. It appeared that several of the evergreen trees in the northeast corner of that interchange were suffering from laminated root rot, or damaging root disease. State Department of Natural Resources experts confirmed our diagnosis and advised us on how we should handle the problem.

Laminated root rot is caused by a fungal pathogen and is one of the most damaging root diseases among conifers in this part of the country.

The area where diseased trees will need to be removed in Woodinville.

We decided that the rotted trees needed to be removed before a fall windstorm knocked them down and endangered the public. At least six of them have already fallen over. To prevent the infection from spreading further, a 50-foot radius of trees must be cleared – a total of at least 57 trees.

Our crews need space to safely remove
trees that threaten the highway.
After each tree is removed, its stump and logs will be examined for any evidence of the disease. If we discover any new root rot, additional trees may need to be cleared in order to provide that 50-foot radius to keep healthy trees safe and protected.

In order to safely remove the trees, our contractor crews will need to close the right shoulder of westbound SR 522 approaching and along the off-ramp to SR 202. They will also need to completely close that off-ramp up to three nights.

Unfortunately, there is no short detour for overnight drivers on westbound SR 522 who need to get into Woodinville when the ramp is closed. A signed detour will be set up along westbound SR 522 to northbound Interstate 405, off at Northeast 195th Street/Beardslee Boulevard in Bothell, then onto southbound I-405, eastbound SR 522 and off at SR 202.

The detour during the SR 522 tree removal job won’t be a short one so be sure to add extra time to your trips.

Work on the approximately $200,000 project is set to begin in late October. The tree removal process should take about three weeks. Ramp closure dates and times will be listed on our King County Construction page.

After the trees are removed, we’ll seed and mulch the area. I’m far from a botanist, but I do know that will help new trees eventually grow back in. Usually in transportation we help save lives by making our roadways safe. This time we’re bringing new life as well and learning just a little more about the fascinating world of trees.

1 comment: said...

Sad to see that happen.
Glad WSDOT can do something about it to confine the disease.

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