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

WSDOT opens 1 lane to traffic at KM slide


February 13, 2020

Darrell Alexander

The Washington State Department of Transportation installed containers to shield traffic from potential further slides and opened one lane to traffic late Saturday afternoon.

The contractor working for the Washington State Department of Transportation has opened a lane for traffic past the landslide that has closed SR 4 at KM Mountain for 16 days.

Here is WSDOT's Friday afternoon news release announcing the opening:

"A single lane of State Route 4, on KM Mountain west of Cathlamet, is now open after a landslide closed the highway Jan. 23.

"Traffic will alternate through the area via the eastbound lane. The westbound lane will remain closed while contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation continue work to remove approximately 50,000 cubic yards of debris and stabilize the hillside.

WSDOT photo

Workers cleared fallen trees off the KM landslide last Wednesday. The Washington State Department of Transportation opened one lane to traffic late Friday afternoon.

"'A long-term fix could take months," said WSDOT Project Engineer Joanna Lowrey. "We know this is a vital stretch of road for many folks and we would like to thank travelers for their patience as we continue work to reopen all lanes of the highway.'

"Engineering geologists evaluated the hillside and determined it is safe to allow a single-lane of traffic back on to the highway. A temporary barrier is in place to separate traffic from the hillside, which creates a safe workplace for crews while also protecting drivers.

"Next steps:

--"Travelers on both directions of the highway will alternate through a single lane around the clock with a temporary traffic signal until the project is complete.

--"For safety, the speed limit through the area is reduced to 25 mph.

--"Travelers may encounter intermittent extended delays of up to 20 minutes, while crews continue work to stabilize the hillside."


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