Tumwater Road to close this month for work on retaining wall

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Tumwater Road just south of Marine Drive will close to car traffic this month starting Tuesday.

Crews will work to build a new retaining wall on the hillside just east of the road.

Tumwater Road will close from Marine Drive south to the intersection of Fifth and A streets while the city completes a $185,405 project to install a 60-foot-long wall along the hillside, city project manager Jim Mahlum said Friday.

The work is scheduled to be done by March 31, Mahlum said.

“The only issue that might shut it down would be weather,” he added.

Local traffic will be able to access the homes near where Tumwater turns and becomes West Fifth Street, he said.

The northbound lane of Tumwater will remain open to bike and pedestrian traffic only.

Suggested detour

Mahlum said the best detour likely will be heading to Eighth Street and heading down the hill via routes such as Cedar or Cherry streets.

A grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay for 75 percent of the project, Mahlum said, with city funds and a grant from the state Emergency Management Department splitting the remaining 25 percent.

The new retaining wall, between 8 feet and 16 feet high in places, will be built just down the hill from one already there, Mahlum explained.

The project has been on the city’s capital improvements list since 2008 or 2009, Mahlum said, when heavy rains caused hillside material to slide down the hill below the existing wall.

Neither Tumwater Road nor the wall was compromised, but the slide illustrated the need for additional support along the hillside, he said.

Metal piles

The new wall will consist of metal piles placed vertically in the ground with roughly 6-foot lengths of wood placed in between, Mahlum explained, adding that the wood will be specially treated to last a long time.

“[There will also be] drainage on the back side of the wall so water won’t collect,” he said.

The wall piles will not require pile-driving machinery, Mahlum said; instead, they will be placed in pre-drilled holes.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 01. 2014 5:27PM
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