A map shows sections of Snohomish County roads scheduled for chip sealing and paving work this summer. (Snohomish County Public Works)

A map shows sections of Snohomish County roads scheduled for chip sealing and paving work this summer. (Snohomish County Public Works)

Reader: Are developers responsible for repairing roads?

Development sites have requirements. Paving season is underway in unincorporated Snohomish County.

With Independence Day behind us, that means summer and road work are truly here.

With favorable weather ahead, Snohomish County is tackling about 47 miles of road for paving and chip sealing. The work to pave 8.8 miles with asphalt and pre-level (such as patching potholes and improving uneven or failing pavement) and/or chip seal 38 miles started in May and will last into September.

Where the county’s road work is done, sidewalks are set for revisions to meet current Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

Almost every area of unincorporated Snohomish County is set for county work this year — Arlington, Clearview, Everett, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Machias, Maltby, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe, Sky Valley, Snohomish, south county, Stanwood and Sultan.

Snohomish County Public Works’ annual program is part of a multi-year plan to maintain and preserve its roads, which also helps anyone and anything using them. The county rates its major roads every two years, and residential roads are rated every four years for that plan.

“These projects are important as they help to ensure we don’t end up with larger, more costly road replacement projects in the future,” public works director Kelly Snyder said in an email. “They are also about maintaining the safety of our roads. Well maintained roads are safer roads.”

Paved roads usually last between 15 and 30 years, depending on location, traffic volume, vehicle types using them and weather.

Beyond the county’s planned work, a reader near Everett wanted to know who is responsible for road repairs after development brings heavy equipment and trucks to the area.

“I live in south Everett (Cascadian Way), not in the city limits,” Cheryl Perhatch wrote The Daily Herald in an email. “There’s been a lot of building in the area, apartments, private residents and some businesses. What I’d like to know is if there is a county requirement to replace the street back to the same state it was before the contractors tear it up for whatever their needs are? The road can be in good shape, something is built and then the road is very rough and continues to get worse.”

The road she’s talking about is between I-5 and the Bothell-Everett Highway. Along Cascadian Way, two projects are under construction, according to the county’s online active permits and projects map, though several more are in review. The general area has several projects under construction as well.

“I don’t recall us ever issuing a haul route permit for development projects along Cascadian Way,” Snohomish County traffic operations supervisor Dale Valiant said in an email.

For the road immediately in front of a project, that developer crew is responsible for repairing the road. Beyond that limited area, it depends on the size of the project and the volume of material going in and out of a project site approved and reviewed by Snohomish County.

“All development-driven projects are responsible for maintaining and repairing the section of road fronting their project,” Valiant said. “Any damages appearing away from the frontage in route to or going out from a project are treated as normal wear and tear unless the development is moving more than 10,000 cubic yards of material. In such cases they are required to obtain a haul permit and be can held accountable for road damages. When applicable PDS (Planning and Development Services) administers this permit.”

The county would require a contractor to repair the road if damage was noted and it was apparent who did the damage, said Ken Crossman, permit supervisor for planning and development services engineering. It’s happened about six times, usually for “minor incidents,” over the past two years, he said.

Have a question? Email streetsmarts@heraldnet.com. Please include your first and last name and city of residence.

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