WSDOT planning detour
March 25, 2021
While a section of unstable roadway forced the closure of State Route 401 on Feb. 23, the Washington State Department of Transportation is continuing work to reopen at least one lane of the highway, as soon and safely as possible, a department spokesperson said in a Tuesday announcement.
Following thorough evaluation of field data, WSDOT geotechnical engineers have determined that emergency contractor crews will likely be able to build a temporary bypass road around the damaged section of roadway.
WSDOT is working to hire an emergency contractor as early as next week, with the goal of opening a single lane of travel on SR 401 by mid-April.
Building a bypass road will require clearing debris, rerouting storm water, filling in the ditch line, paving a new roadway, installing concrete barrier, painting new roadway markings and installing a temporary traffic light.
Provided that the adjacent landslide remains stable; the temporary bypass road will stay in place while crews work on long-term repairs to stabilize the slope and repair the roadway.
WSDOT engineers are using data collected over the past few weeks to help design the long-term repair, which is scheduled for construction this summer.
During construction of the bypass road, travelers should continue to use an alternate route and expect delays on US 101 about a mile west of the Astoria-Megler Bridge while crews work to repair a culvert under the highway. The Dismal Nitch Rest Area, east of the Astoria-Megler Bridge, remains closed.
To receive updates about this project, including when the bypass road will open and when construction to stabilize the slope and reopen the highway will be complete, travelers can sign up to receive Pacific County email/text notifications: govdelivery.com/accounts/WADOT/subscriber/new.