Kudos to the county | Editorial

It seems to be human nature to complain more than compliment, and our county gets its fair share of grievances.

So we’d like to take a moment to dispense a little praise for two projects that San Juan County has brought to fruition successfully.

Mt. Baker Road’s makeover was completed on time at the end of August, six months after construction began. The road was widened from 20 to 30 feet, there are two 11-foot lanes with four-foot shoulders and a five-foot wide gravel pedestrian trail. Drainage and stormwater quality was also improved. Because the road has widened and thus destroyed 0.6 acres of wetland, compensatory wetland mitigation will be undertaken on the Land Bank’s Stonebridge Preserve, intended to rehabilitate around six acres of existing degraded wetlands.

Yes, the potholes and dust this summer were a hassle, but it’s wonderful to have a protected area to walk recreationally now. And the road, which is a route for commercial trucks to go around Eastsound, is much safer – for drivers and pedestrians.

In other road improvement news, federal funding has paid for up to 10 new guardrails in the county, four of which have been installed on Orcas at the following spots: Orcas Road across from Fowlers Corner, Crow Valley Road, Flaherty’s Hill on Olga Road, and Terrill Beach and Mt. Baker Road.

Thank you to the county for securing funding for these important public safety projects. They were completed within budget and on time. And with the darkness of winter drawing near, we’ll feel much safer on our rural roads.