SR 530 access road dramatically changed one front yard



Posted on May 12, 2014 at 7:03 PM

Cars and trucks continue to move smoothly through the 530 access road after certain restrictions were removed last week.

It's dramatically changed the view from one house.

"Two and half minutes - 1:30 - and they'll be heading eastbound," said Jim Soule.

It's congestion like Jim and his wife, Carmel, have never seen before.

They chose the Oso property in 1976 for its isolation.

"There wasn't much traffic," Carmel said."It was quiet."
But just last week their front yard changed.

"We didn't know exactly where it would be. We thought it might be further up the road," Carmel said.

Just a few yards away, crews line up traffic. Drivers wait for a pilot car to guide them through the new 530 access road. They leave once an hour.

"At quarter after the hour, traffic comes down," Jim explained. "At the bottom of the hour, traffic comes up."

After the landslide, traffic diverted far away from the couple's home.

"I mean, you could've walked down the road before the road was open and there was no traffic," Carmel remembered.

But right after the access road opened, everything changed.

"There that one morning, it was quarter-after six, 110 vehicles went up and 91 went down," Jim said.

The line of cars doesn't bother them much, especially considering who's waiting in line.

"All over Western Washington and parts of eastern Washington have shipped food to us," Coleman said.

Coleman drives the Darrington food bank truck, atrip that's cut down two hours since the road's opening.

"We've had people come into the food bank and leave crying,  because they just cant believe how much help they're getting."

And so, Jim and Carmel say, their vantage point is one few get - counting blessings while they count cars.

"Like you see the signs 'OsoStrong'," Carmel said. "When there's a tragedy, it shows you how people can pull together."