McGOWAN - With construction at the historic Station Camp site delayed because of significant archaeological finds, it's anyone's guess when the realignment of Highway 101 will begin.
"Nothing has changed from last week," Jilayne Jordan, public information officer for the state Department of Transportation said Monday. "There have been no new discoveries and the archaeologists are continuing their field work through the end of this week." Jordan said artifacts found at the site will go to a lab for analysis and a report will be released. "There are no answers yet as far as the project is concerned," she said.
"There are too many unanswered questions now on the archaeology for the highway project to start," Jordan said. "For now it's delayed."
Chinook Tribe member Charlie Funk, who has been acting as a monitor at the site, said the tribe will be discussing the recent finds at its meeting the second week in February. "All the agencies involved have bent over backwards to cooperate with us," he said Tuesday.
Since the discovery of the burned planks, 24-hour-a-day security guards have been posted at the site "because of the amount of attention to the dig and to maintain the integrity of the site," Jordan said. "They're likely to be there until after the dig is complete."
The archeology work was originally scheduled to end Jan. 28, with construction of the highway realignment beginning on Monday.
According to a press release from WSDOT, "After reviewing the information about the find, the project partners decided that the archeologists should be given additional time to assess the plank feature and determine its function and significance. When construction will resume will not be known until the archeology work is complete."