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As the parking lot crumbles...

I have spoken to a few members in the past few months regarding the pothole(s) in the parking lot and I thought that it may be helpful to provide a more detailed reference for those who would like to know a bit of the nitty gritty details.

First a little history…

The Samena Club sits on land that was donated by the developers of the Lake Hills area in the late 1950’s.  In all, our property is just over 8 acres, stretching from Lake Hills Boulevard south toward the Greenbelt Ranger Station.  A large portion of our property is situated in the Kelsey Creek drainage basin and the Phantom B Wetland which also sits in the 100-year floodplain.  Samena is the proud owner of tons of “Seattle Muck” which apparently is not a hot commodity but does give us special awards in the critical area and wetland categories. Due to the critical area and wetland designations, any development on the property, understandably, faces a higher barrier of review and often limited options. 

How does this impact the parking lot…

It lies below the surface; subsurface and groundwater conditions to be exact.  First, the parking lot is built on top of a subsurface of peat and alluvium.  Whereas peat is good for things such as preserving woolly mammoths and making scotch, it is not the best foundation for a parking lot, especially one with high amounts of traffic and heavy trucks.   Second, the groundwater (water table) sits close to the surface, approximately 2 ½ feet below the existing surface. This groundwater seepage fluctuates depending on the season, amount of rainfall, surface water runoff, and other factors.   Let’s just say that the record rainfall we have seen since October has not helped the issue. In addition to the rain saturating from the surface, there is also groundwater pushing the asphalt and any fill that’s been added to the potholes, up and out into the parking lot.  It’s kind of like driving on top of the wonderful jello fruit concoction my grandmother used to make.  There is very little stability and the blueberries will come shooting out the moment I place any pressure on the wiggly jello subsurface.  

The added bonus of all of the subsurface and groundwater conditions is that Samena, being in a wetland and critical area, has to be thoughtful and prudent when devising a solution.  In 2011, when we paved the entire parking lot due to the severity of entire lot the compromise that we came to with the city was to take the entire surface to grade (roughly 2 inches) and pave over the existing subsurface.  For the majority of the parking lot this was an adequate solution.  However, the main drive has not fared as well, due in part to level of traffic and heavy trucks that pass over the area and the fact that it sits at one of the lowest elevations in the parking lot. 

What’s the plan…

Last summer Samena engaged a Geotech firm to assist in developing a long-term solution that the City of Bellevue would approve.  The plan is to strengthen the subgrade with crushed rock that is reinforced with geotextile fabric below the crushed rock fill.  The areas in which there is visible groundwater seepage will be addressed with the implementation of a French drain system.    

The plans have been sent out to bid and once an agreement with a contractor has been signed, the permitting will begin.  The two outstanding items: the timing and response from the City of Bellevue and the length of time it will take for the ground to be dry enough to perform the approved scope of work. Continue to check back for updates on these items.

 

 

 

 

This blogs intent is to provide details and background regarding the Samena parking lot, specifically the area with the expanding pothole in the main drive.  We will attempt to answer many of the questions that have been posed. However, if you have further question please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  This site will be updated as additional information is gathered. 
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Monday - Friday 5:00am - 10:00pm
Saturday 7:00am - 10:00pm
Sunday 9:00am - 10:00pm

 

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Phone:(425) 746-1160
Fax: (425) 746-4485
Front Office: Ext. 110
15231 Lake Hills Blvd
Bellevue, WA 98007