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

County replacing culvert on road near Deep River


August 6, 2020

Wirkkala Road near Deep River will be closed to traffic August 17-19, Wahkiakum County officials said Tuesday.

The county road department will replace a small, failing culvert with a 9-foot diameter pipe.

In June, 2019, Wirkkala Road resident Nick Nikkila reported the culvert was failing and had only a very small opening for drainage. Subsequently, County Engineer Paul Lacy said the culvert had almost collapsed, and the county commission imposed a 10,000 lb. weight restriction on the road. The road crew placed steel plates over the 4-foot diameter culvert for basic vehicle safety, he said.

The road leads to two residences and is used by log trucks; however, the weight restriction precluded truck passage.

County Public Works Director Chuck Beyer on Tuesday said road department staff have been communicating with area residents about how to deal with the closure. Staff have suggested parking vehicles on the other side of the culvert from their homes, and the county has reached agreement with timberland owners to use logging roads for emergency vehicle access.

In other business Tuesday Commissioners Dan Cothren, Mike Backman and Gene Strong approved an inter-agency agreement with Cowlitz County for support of the Wahkiakum County noxious weed control program. The agreement provides for Cowlitz personnel to direct application of herbicide on milfoil and other aquatic weeds growing in Wahkiakum County sloughs.

Wahkiakum County's noxious weed control program activity has declined over the past couple of years, and commissioners are working with a new board of supervisors to hire new personnel and revitalize the program.

"I think it's great [that Cowlitz is assisting Wahkiakum]," said Commissioner Mike Backman. "They're working with us and being good neighbors."


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