The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Highway projects abound in our area


August 23, 2018

The pace of highway work in the Cathlamet area is picking up.

Both re-decking and paint crews are making progress on the Puget Island bridge. A striping crew has been working on SR 4 through Cathlamet to realign lanes and create new left turn lanes.

And this week, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has announced that slide repair work at Milepost 50 on SR 4 near Stella will begin next Monday.

The department also plans to upgrade crosswalks on Main Street in Cathlamet this summer. The project includes elimination of some parking spaces on Main Street to enhance motorist-pedestrian visibility.

Here are details as described by WSDOT:

On Monday, contractor crews working will remove 8,000 cubic yards of unstable material from the top of the hillside adjacent to the highway and repair the debris fence.

“We’ve been monitoring the hillside for additional movements and gathering geological data for our repair plan,” said Project Engineer Joanna Lowrey in a department news release. “While we know travel delays are frustrating, this project will ensure that the road continues to serve the traveling public for a long time to come.”

In December 2017, trees, rocks, mud and other debris slid across SR 4, closing the highway. Because of the threat of additional slide activity, and to keep traffic moving on the highway, crews installed shipping containers on one lane of the roadway, alternating traffic through the remaining lane until a more permanent fix could be made.

Travelers on both directions of SR 4 near Stella will continue to alternate through a single lane around-the-clock, until slope restoration and fence replacement work is complete later this year.

Full roadway closures of 20 to 30 minutes may be needed, while crews remove large rocks off the hillside.

The restriping work started Tuesday and is scheduled to end today (Thursday).

Traffic in both directions of SR 4 will be reduced to one lane 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily while crews restripe the shoulders through this stretch of highway.

During the lane closures, travelers will follow a pilot car through the work zone.

This safety improvement will convert the eastbound lane of SR 4 into a westbound left turn only lane at Wahkiakum High School Road, a department news release said. Also, crews will install a two-way left turn lane between Wahkiakum High School Road and Columbia Street/Boege Road. The new left turn lanes will improve safety for all travelers who are accessing the high school and local streets. When complete, the speed limit in the area will be permanently reduced from 50 to 45 mph. On Monday, the Cathlamet Town Council approved an ordinance making the change.

Rest area closed

Finally, The Dismal Nitch (Megler) Rest Area on both directions of SR 401 is closed for repairs effective Tuesday.

The site is closed for septic system repairs. There is no estimated time for when the rest area will reopen. Travelers who need to take a break should plan accordingly.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019