|The old alignment of Saltzman is shown in brown. The numbers show peak-hour traffic volume by direction in 1989 at 150 southbound and 360 northbound. Current peak volumes range from 1500 to 1800. The road project was estimated to cost $850,000 in 1989. The current project budget is around $6.5 million.
History in the News
By Nancy Olson, co-author, Cedar Mill History, updates by Virginia Bruce
Like so much of Cedar Mill, NW Saltzman Road has changed with the times. Originally it was a dirt track leading from Peter Saltzmann’s homestead, just west of the summit of Skyline Ridge, to NW Thompson Road. His descendants later changed Saltzmann to Saltzman, accounting for today’s spelling.
In 1892, Washington County surveyed the road. The group recommended adopting it as a County Road, stating, “A good road can be made at reasonable expense…It reaches and gives outlet to several farms not otherwise accommodated, and also gives convenient passage for the neighborhoods to each of the roads with which it is connected.”
By 1896 the road was finished down the east side of Skyline. The steep stretch between Saltzmann’s place and Laidlaw, though still traceable in the 1970’s, fell into disuse quite early. The steep eastern branch served as a fire road in Forest Park.
The southern end of Saltzman joined Cornell Road near Leedy Grange. Up until 1990, the road had three right angle jogs to avoid cutting through old farms between Thompson and Cornell. Forty years ago, there were many accidents as modern day drivers collided with the past.
In 1990, the County used MSTIP II funds to reconstruct the road between Burton and Marshall on a new alignment that eliminated the dangerous right-angles. Cut-through traffic in Terra Linda had been a problem, so at the same time, the corner that connected with the Terra Linda neighborhood was vacated and access was closed off.
There was a fairly contentious series of public meetings at St. Pius while the improvements were being planned, leading one county official to proclaim that he would never again schedule a public meeting in a building without a back door!