State Department of Transportation crews inspect a sunken section of state Highway 112. (Photo courtesy of WSDOT)

State Department of Transportation crews inspect a sunken section of state Highway 112. (Photo courtesy of WSDOT)

Landslide closes 7.5-mile portion of Highway 112

Geologists examine area between Joyce, Clallam Bay

PYSHT — A 7.5-mile section of state Highway 112 is closed until further notice east of Pysht after heavy rains caused a slow-moving landslide, the state Department of Transportation said.

One section of the roadway has settled more than 18 inches across both lanes of travel and two other sections near milepost 31.8 have settled below the roadway, DOT spokesman Doug Adamson said Wednesday.

The highway is closed to all traffic between mileposts 31.4 and 38.9.

The agency “is in the process of identifying what work is needed to re-open the highway,” agency officials said Wednesday.

Until repairs can be made, drivers will need to follow U.S. Highway 101 and state Highway 113.

DOT geologists assessed the remote section of the highway between Joyce and Clallam Bay this week.

The area has long been prone to landslides and flooding.

A hill behind state Highway 112 between Joyce and Clallam Bay washed out during recent heavy rainfall. (Photo courtesy of WSDOT)

A hill behind state Highway 112 between Joyce and Clallam Bay washed out during recent heavy rainfall. (Photo courtesy of WSDOT)

“Our engineering geologists examined the three locations and found the hillside is still moving in at least one place around the highway,” Adamson said in a DOT blog post Wednesday.

“In one section, the roadway drops 22 inches where a 100-foot-long settlement stretches across the highway.”

Crews could hear material moving in the forest above the roadway on Tuesday, Adamson said.

“We’ve yet to see the settlement stop, and geologists observed a crack in the hillside over the roadway,” Adamson said.

Engineering geologists will return to the slide area next week.

“Once they give us the all-clear, our crews can safely clear and repair the roadway,” Adamson said.

“We understand the importance of this highway for everyone who uses it. However, Mother Nature is setting the tempo at this time. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and set a game plan for repairs.”

The winding section of Highway 112 between mileposts 31 and 39 was deemed not viable for high-volume traffic when DOT considered options for replacing the U.S. Highway 101 bridge over the Elwha River in 2016.

DOT will provide email updates and use the WSDOT blog to report on this closure. Follow WSDOT on Twitter for updates.

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