NASELLE — With frustration mounting over an added hour commute between Naselle and Astoria after a Feb. 23 landslide took out a section of State Route 401 above Knappton, the Washington State Department of Transportation said March 23 that it “is continuing work to reopen at least one lane of the highway, as soon and safely as possible.”
WSDOT said its geotechnical engineers have determined that emergency contractor crews will likely be able to build a temporary bypass road around the damaged section of roadway. The agency hopes to hire an emergency contractor by next week, with the goal of opening a single lane of travel on SR 401 by mid-April.
The agency provided these additional details:
• 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 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 to 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.
To receive updates, 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 at public.govdelivery.com/accounts/WADOT/subscriber/new.
Work was finished last week on a different local highway problem, the emergency replacement of a culvert on U.S. Highway 101 just west of the Washington end of the Astoria-Megler Bridge.