KM Slide Update
March 5, 2020
SR 4 Slide Update
Tamara Greenwell, the lead communicator for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), communicated to me that the cleanup efforts are ongoing and going well. She indicated that each day crews are hauling out large amounts of debris. They posted a new video showing the cleanup progress on YouTube: https://youtu.be/wsoQv--7AG5o.
WSDOT estimated about 50,000 cubic yards of rocks, soil and dirt slid off KM Mountain on January 23. This is sufficient debris to fill more than 3,500 dump trucks and is larger in size than a football field. WSDOT's current emergency contract with Nutter Corporation is over halfway complete, though additional work will be needed to stabilize the hillside.
WSDOT's geotechnical engineers have finished the exploratory drilling and used the information gathered to develop a long-term plan to stabilize the hillside. Beginning Feb. 29, crews started longterm stabilization work, by hauling in quarry spalls which are needed to stabilize the slope. These will be used to build a shear key and buttress made out of quarry spalls. Quarry spalls are 2-8" irregularly sized pieces of rocks that are mostly angular, not rounded. Because the rocks are angular, they hold together almost like Legos, helping to lock the mass of rocks into the ground beneath the slide area, keeping the area stable.
They'll also install drain pipes into the slope behind the rock, which will help drain water and relieve some of the pressure that can build up. Water is the biggest contributor to an unstable slope like this one. It is still too soon to tell when both lanes of SR 4 will reopen to traffic, Greenwell said.
WSDOT will build as much of the shear key as possible under the current 30-day emergency contract. They will develop an additional contract to put out to bid to build the rest of the buttress, and do any other stabilization such as smoothing out the rest of the slope, removing more loose debris, and seeding the remaining soil. For safety concerns, the alternating single-lane closure will remain in place around the clock until the work is completed. Traffic is getting through the lane closure with minimal delay.
WSDOT appreciates The Wahkiakum County Eagle in helping to share information with our readers, and the public's patience as they work to stabilize the hillside.
The annual Super Sale at Johnson Park will take place on March 21 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. To get a space please call 360-762-9933.
In last week's story on Oneida, I referred to the last boat to bring passengers to and from Oneida as the George Washington. My mistake and it was in my notes. The boat was called the General Washington. Thanks to faithful reader Bonnie LaDoe for bringing this to my attention.
The Naselle Timberline Library will be hosting Pour Painting for kids on March 14 from 2-3 p.m. Come and create an original painting using acrylic paint, some basic tools, and random luck. They supply the materials and you make something awesome. The Friends of the Naselle Timberline Library will meet 6-7 p.m., on March 10 at 4 Parpala Road. They are having our election of officers. Join the group and help plan library events and activities. The Friends help with funding of various library programs, children and adult. For further information call Sherry Hartline at 360 484-3877.