Old Cornet Bay closed

Despite citizens’ concerns, the Board of Island County Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to close Old Cornet Bay Road forever.

The road will be closed as part of a nearly $8-million Washington Department of Transportation project to improve safety at the intersection near Deception Pass.

Cornet Bay resident John Aydelotte, Jr. said that the commissioners should not close the road because the road was deeded to the county in 1912.

“The deed says, ‘To have and to hold as a purpose of a public road forever,’ “ Aydelotte read from the deed. “Do I really need to explain to you gentlemen what that means?”

The project began in 2001 with a series of public meetings and informational sessions to inform residents of the project. It will close Old Cornet Bay Road, realign Ducken Road so that it intersects with Deception Circle, straighten Highway 20 and lower the elevation of the highway approximately 10 feet at the intersection.

The project creates a situation that would mean only one way in or out of the Cornet Bay area, which has approximately 200 homes in it. Cornet Bay resident John Aydelotte, Sr. said that was his biggest concern about the road’s closure.

“We need an alternative — particularly for emergency vehicles,” he told the commissioners Monday. “I think WSDOT did a good job of studying the alternatives, but they didn’t go far enough.”

Commissioner Bill Byrd said he made the motion to close the road with some reluctance.

“I just hate to see them lost that access,” Byrd said. “Without that access, it does inconvenience them.”

In supporting the decision to close the road, the county cited data from the Washington State Patrol that showed 98 accidents occurred in that area between 1994 and 2003. Of those, 80 were rear ends and 88 resulted in injuries.

The project is expected to begin at the beginning of May.

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