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BPA Power Line Work In Issaquah Highlands, Bark Park Closure

By July 28, 2021August 17th, 2021IHCA
Bark Park BPA Trail

Update: Bark Park Closure No Longer Required

August 17, 2021 — According to BPA, power line work is ahead of schedule and there will be NO NEED to close the Issaquah Highlands Bark Park. The Bark Park is expected to be open August 23-27. Click here to learn more about the project.

The following is a press release provided by the Bonneville Power Administration, originally posted on July 28, 2021:

BPA Reconductor Project Trail System Closed August 2-27

During August 2021, Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) line crews will replace transmission conductor lines along a two-mile stretch of transmission right-of-way within Sammamish and Issaquah, Wash. Upgrading this 70-year-old transmission line is critical to grid reliability and public safety. The use of heavy equipment to conduct the line replacement between tower 16/2 and tower 18/2 requires the closure of recreational areas in the transmission line right-of-way to ensure the safety of the line crews and the public. Path closures and Issaquah Highlands Bark Park closures will be required.

Issaquah Highlands Bark Park Closed August 23-27

The Issaquah Highlands Bark Park and trail under the BPA line will be closed to the public from August 23-27, 2021, for overhead power line replacement. Absolutely NO ENTRY will be allowed for the crew and public’s safety.

WARNING: Trespassing into a designated work zone is extremely dangerous and may result in death. The Issaquah Police Department will be contacted for any trespassing. BPA apologizes for this inconvenience; the line replacement is absolutely necessary at this time to help prevent potential loss of power.

Bark Park BPA Trail Closure Map 2021

Trail closure map (click to enlarge).

Tree clearance

Typically, BPA will clear trees to the edge of its right-of-way, which extends 75 feet from the transmission line’s centerline, to maintain the reliability of the line and the safety of BPA’s line crews and the public. However, because this line was leased and maintained for the last 50 years by a third party that cleared a smaller distance from the centerline, BPA plans to reduce this clearance area to 62.5 feet from the centerline and will evaluate the vegetation removal needs in areas where vegetation exists in the area between 62.5 and 75 feet from the centerline.

BPA will remove vegetation within any right-of-way that represents either an imminent or potential danger of coming in contact with the transmission lines or towers.

Use of herbicides

BPA applies herbicides along its right-of-way only when necessary to supplement other methods of clearing such as cutting and mowing. Additionally, BPA endeavors to use the least toxic herbicides commercially available – in this case, Garlon 3A. If you have a wellhead that is within 164 feet of the right-of-way, or if you are interested in protecting other sensitive areas (e.g., a community garden) from herbicide use, please call us at 1-800-836-6619 or email Communications@bpa.gov. When leaving a message, please include details regarding the exact location of the area of your concern, your current contact information, and reference the “Sammamish-Maple Valley and Monroe-Novelty transmission lines.”

The Issaquah Highlands Community Association (IHCA) has requested no spraying around the Vista 1 and 2 community gardens.

Environmental analysis

BPA’s vegetation management program complies with all applicable federal environmental laws and Department of Energy regulations and BPA completed an environmental impact statement for all of its transmission corridors across its service territory in 2000. Additional environmental review of any proposed site-specific vegetation management is also performed in advance of any actions. BPA completed an additional environmental review of the Sammamish-Maple Valley and Monroe-Novelty Hill transmission corridor in September 2018. The environmental reviews for projects are available on BPA’s website or you can go directly to this link for the environmental supplement analysis (SA-694) for these two transmission lines.

BPA project link: https://www.bpa.gov/Projects/Transmission-Line-Reintegration

BPA Project Overview Vegetation Management Map: Click here

BPA thanks the public for their patience. Questions on this project can be directed to communications@bpa.gov or 800-622-4519.