Work starts to fix state Highway 112 slide areas

SEIKU — Work has begun to reopen an 8-mile section of state Highway 112 that has been closed since Dec. 21.

Scarsella Brothers Inc. crews hired by the state Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will work six days a week inside the closure area between mileposts 31-39 to repair six slide sites where damage was caused by high temperatures, heavy rains, snow and seasonal tide.

Crews are beginning with the most serious roadway damage near Jim Creek, where they are building a mesh retaining wall to support the highway above.

In phases

“Work will occur in phases with crews beginning excavations near Twin Beach at milepost 37, where portions of the roadway have dropped 13 feet,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Dan McKernan in a press release.

The highway will remain largely closed until work is completed, which is anticipated to be in late July, although some portions may reopen as temporary gravel surfaces before then.

Still use detour

Travelers will continue to detour using U.S. Highway 101 and state Highway 113 during construction.

Construction has begun after four months of environmental permitting and design work, McKernan said.

In later December 2020, inspectors found roadway settlement in three separate locations. As rains continued to fall in the weeks that followed, three additional locations were identified.

Geotechnical engineers have documented significant slide activity every 10-20 years beginning in 1954 after the highway was transferred to WSDOT from Clallam County in the 1930s, WSDOT said.

The last major slide before the 2020 slides was in 2009.

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