ARTIC - Rock Crusher Hill on US 101 in Grays Harbor County could be dubbed "Road Crusher Hill." After years of temporary repairs, there's welcome news for drivers who use this segment of highway, notorious for reoccurring landslides.
Beginning Monday, June 22, crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will begin a project to build a permanent fixfor this section of US 101.
Keep traffic moving
Crews initially will construct a temporary, one-lane detour road around the work zone at milepost 72.6 near Artic. When the detour opens, an automated signal will control one alternating lane of traffic around the construction zone. Drivers can expect brief delays at the site throughout the summer while work is underway. In addition, the speed limit on the detour road will be reduced from 55 mph to 25 mph.
Permanent fix details
Crews will drill 190 shafts deep into the earth below the lanes of US 101. Workers will fill the shafts with rock, forming a buttress that will shore up the unstable hillside and prevent further roadway settlement. The permanent fix will reduce the potential for slide-related closures and reduce historically-recurring maintenance costs.
The work is expected to be complete this fall.
What's the issue?
This area of highway is located on a slow-moving, pre-historic landslide. Heavy rains can restart the landslide, causing cause large sections of the roadway to sink. After pavement settlement, WSDOT maintenance crews are typically required to close the northbound lane and reduce the speed limit. Only after movement subsides, crews can make temporary repairs. The cycle can be repeated if the area receives additional rain, again triggering the landslide.