Lake Lois bridge fiasco

May 7th, 2012 by Ken

Put me in the camp of those who think the City of Lacey made a mistake when it built the new Carpenter Road and put a wall between the drivers and Lake Lois.

Those driving on the new Carpenter Road can no longer see Lake Lois because the wall separating the roadbed from the lake is too high.

That’s what happens when engineers design a bridge and leave out the public in the review process, although I’m not certain a novice would even have understood the wall design even if they had seen the plans.

It’s not that Lake Lois is a significant lake in the city compared to the other eight or ten lakes. But, what made it special is that it was ever changing and was visible to thousands of drivers every day. All the other lakes are mainly invisible from the road.

When you drove over Lake Lois; when the roadbed was at lake level, you could see how high the water table was that year. If we had plenty of rain and if we were going to be free from watering, was known by looking at the lake.

You could also tell if we had little snow in the mountains and would have a bad water year along with watering restrictions. All of this by just looking at the lake. There were years when it almost overflowed the road and other years when the lake was almost dry.

Lake Lois changed almost on a weekly basis and those who drove the road everyday could see the current environment by just looking at the lake.

But, Carpenter Road was getting a lot of traffic and it was clear the road needed to be expanded. So, city planners drew up a design for the roadway encompassing all of the latest safety features as well as sidewalks and bike paths.

And, because there was a bike path along the new bridge, it needed a higher wall.

But now, we can no longer see the lake. We can’t judge the climate, the water level, even the beauty of the lake. It’s like we lost an old friend.

I know engineers were just trying to design a road that was safe to drive and would speed motorists along in safety and security.

But, I sure do miss seeing the lake.

There’s nothing special about Carpenter Road – – anymore.

Posted in Government, History, Local Politics, The Real News

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