Slide, rockfall risk to keep SR-503 closed east of Woodland thro - KPTV - FOX 12

Slide, rockfall risk to keep SR-503 closed east of Woodland through the spring

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Image: WSDOT Image: WSDOT
WOODLAND, WA (KPTV) -

The potential for large rock slabs to fall onto SR-503 will keep the highway closed east of Woodland through the spring.

The Washington State Department of Transportation reported Wednesday that recent assessments of the hillside above SR-503 near Speelyai Bay Road revealed additional movement near the cliff face.

A debris slide brought rocks and trees down onto the roadway about 20 miles east of Woodland earlier this month.

WSDOT geotechnical engineers have been unable to safely access the site for a closer look, but used an aerial drone for evaluation and to gather survey data.

For the next several weeks, WSDOT will monitor the movements of the hillside and incorporate the additional data into a construction contract that will remove unstable rock and debris while stabilizing the hillside.

“We want to begin cleanup and repair work as soon as possible,” said WSDOT project engineer Lori Figone. “Once access is safe, we’ll have a clearer picture of the extent of the repair work and the timetable to get the job done.”

WSDOT recommends drivers traveling to the areas near the north end of Lake Merwin and Yale Lake to add extra time for their trips through the spring.

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