By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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PORT ANGELES — U.S. Highway 101 will be shifted back to its permanent route near Deer Park Road by Saturday morning if the weather holds, Clallam County Engineer Ross Tyler said Thursday.
A short detour has been in place since February to allow crews to install a pre-cast concrete arch tunnel that will become an underpass for a new county road called Deer Park Loop east of Port Angeles.
Weather permitting, the highway will be shifted from its 25 mph temporary configuration to the original 45 mph route beginning at about 7 p.m. today, Tyler said.
The $4.8 million county underpass will connect Deer Park Road and Buchanan Drive at the east summit of the Morse Creek ravine. It will eliminate left turns from those roads across the four-lane highway.
The state Department of Transportation gave the county-hired contractor, Scarsella Bros. of Kent, 90 days to use the detour.
The 90-day detour window closes next Thursday, Tyler said.
“The first obvious next step will be to remove the detour and excavate that area down to finish grade,” Tyler wrote in an email to the Peninsula Daily News.
“That will conclude the majority of the dirt moving. The contractor will then turn to the details such as sidewalks, curbs, road approaches, utilities, stairways, and reconfiguration of the scenic overlook including additional paving and installation of vault toilets.
“There is a lot of time yet to be invested in the details but they are not going to be as visually impressive as the work that we have witnessed to this point.”
The overall project is on budget and still on schedule to be completed by September, Tyler said.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at email@example.com.