PORT ANGELES — A cavernous “void” under an important intersection — one at which U.S. Highway 101 makes a critical turn in central Port Angeles — has caused state transportation officials to close the northbound lane and detour traffic because part of the road is sinking.
Highway engineers don’t yet know the extent of an estimated 8-foot void beneath the No. 1 northbound lane of Lincoln Street just south of First Street. They began exploratory work following core drilling Monday on a patch of asphalt laid last week that continued to sink, said Glenn Cutler, Port Angeles city public works director.
A likely repair would be opening the street and filling the hole with “controlled density fill,” which is a mix of concrete and gravel, Cutler said.
However, using that type of fill depends on storm drains, sewer lines and other factors.
Because the transcontinental U.S. 101 is a state highway, the state Department of Transportation is in charge of any work required to shore up the street.
The location at the corner of Lincoln and First streets is where U.S. 101 finishes its 1,400-mile northward trek from Los Angeles, Calif.
From the corner of Lincoln and First, the route heads east past Sequim to Discovery Bay, then south to Interstate 5 near Olympia.
Cutler said southbound U.S. 101 on Lincoln Street shouldn’t be affected by the exploratory work.
But northbound traffic was expected to be detoured at Eighth Street to Race Street, then north to First Street.
And the uncertainty of the work could affect Wednesday’s Port Angeles Fourth of July parade.
The route starts near the Clallam County Courthouse on Lincoln Street north to First Street, then west to Valley Street.
Trucks in the parade might not be able to negotiate the abbreviated intersection, Cutler said.
He and Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Russ Veenema, who coordinates the parade, are discussing alternatives, Cutler said Monday night.