River channel must be cleared before Index-Galena Road fixed

It is almost facetious to say that celebrating the rebirth of access to the entire North Fork of the Skykomish River is premature (“Work on damaged Index-Galena route could begin in 2019,” The Herald, Jan. 15). After a decade of agonizing process, it will finally be open in maybe three years? Don’t hold your breath.

Those who know both the Index-Galena Road and basic geometry also know that road can not long survive the log jam across from 3-mile or the one just above the North Fork bridge beyond Garland, whether the road is rebuilt at 6.4 mile or not.

A road built in 1911 survived for nearly 100 years by keeping the meandering North Fork away. When downed trees forced the river, the channel was cleared to save the road and the access it provided. Had this been done after the 1990 flood at 6.9 mile, the road would have been spared in 2006. Clearing does no violence to animals; it only reorders timber and some rocks.

The creatures paying for $26.5 million of insanity do not swim the river or perch on limbs. We are paralyzed by the wisdom of bureaucrats. If channel clearing isn’t done now, $26.5 million will be wasted, but lots of them will still be employed.

Leonard French


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