Sky Island road opens

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By Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

Friday morning, the roadblocks were lifted onto trucks and driven away as Sky Island Drive East officially opened for traffic.

The road had been finished since September, but could not be opened until the final plat for Sky Island Division 5 was approved.

The Bonney Lake City Council approved the plat Feb. 8 by a 5-1 vote. Councilman Neil Johnson voted no and Councilman Jim Rackley was absent due to illness and did not vote.

Once the plat was approved it was filed with Pierce County Thursday and the next day the barriers were removed.

Residents of the Sky Island development have expressed concern at council meetings about the traffic speed and safety once the road was opened.

"We have heard concern about safety," Public Works Director Dan Grigsby said. "Stop signs don't slow traffic very well. What really slows people are speed control signs and police enforcement. The road is rated for 45 (mph), but it will be posted at 25."

The new road allows direct access for those living in Panorama Heights and Sky Island to state Route 410 to the north and Rhodes Lake Road to the south.

According to city staff, Sky Island has seven divisions and a total of 414 lots. Division 5 is now being built.

Panorama Heights has 434 lots and Panorama West will build 229 lots.

The entire area, when completely built out, will total 1,072 homes.

Dennis Box can be reached at

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