Thursday, March 29, 2007
Sam Arola, Area Maintenance Supervisor, (360) 442-1342 (Kelso)
Sarah Druffel, WSDOT Communications, (360) 905-2079 (Vancouver)
CASTLE ROCK – Work to remove trees and debris that are covering SR 504, about 19 miles east of Castle Rock, began today, March 29. The work began when contracted tree fallers cut down six large trees located at the top of the slide, which had been seriously undermined when the slide occurred. The highway is expected to open early next week.
The highway was closed just after 7 a.m. Monday, March 26 when trees and debris fell from the 350 foot slope above the highway. For the first day, debris continued to fall. Geotechnical specialists examined the slope and recommended the best course of action for cleanup.
Several upslope springs are now flowing out of exposed bedrock and need to be diverted away from the slide area. Additionally, timber that fell from the property adjacent to the state right-of-way will be removed by the owner today. WSDOT crews will then begin removing remaining debris and divert flowing spring water.
The closure, just east of Kid Valley in Cowlitz County, will remain in place for at least two more days. WSDOT crews will be working extended hours during the closure to accomplish the work necessary to allow traffic to safely pass through the area. Message signs are in place on SR 504 and SR 505, alerting motorists that the highway is closed just east of Kid Valley.
Drivers can now get real time traffic and weather information by dialing 5-1-1 from most phones. This new traveler information system builds upon the highly successful Washington State Highway hotline that managed 4.6 million calls each year. Callers can also use 5-1-1 to get statewide construction, mountain pass condition, and state ferry system information, as well as toll free numbers for passenger rail and airlines. TTY users can call 1-800-833-6388.
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