UPDATE Oct. 28: This work has been postponed due to expected wet weather and will be rescheduled for a future date.
The dreary days of fall are upon western Washington and for us that means more maintenance work, hillside inspections and dangerous tree removal projects as we gear up for rain, wind, snow and ice.
One of the first in line is a landslide repair project on the hillside along westbound State Route 18 just east of Auburn that could cause major delays for drivers this weekend.
What drivers need to know
|This stretch of SR 18 near Auburn will be reduced|
to one lane as we stabilize this hillside.
The afternoon commute on Monday could take an additional hour with up to five miles of backup expected. We also expect 30-minute delays on Sunday afternoon. If you're headed out trick-or-treating or need to get home to get your kids in costume, please take these expected delays into account.
A heavy lift
|Looking down the slide area toward westbound SR 18 below.|
Contractor crews will bring in an excavator with a 72-foot-long arm and put it in the closed lane. From there, crews will remove the debris that moved during the slide, build terraces and place rocks to stabilize and reinforce the existing slope.
|An excavator similar to this will remove the slide|
debris and work to stabilize the slope on the
side of westbound SR 18 near Auburn.
Yes, we know this is a rainy time of year, but designing and scheduling projects is challenging and this is when we were able to get it ready to go. Our geotechnical engineers have been watching the hillside, and have determined we should not wait through another winter to do this work.
If the weather cooperates, the work will be done early Tuesday morning. The hillside will be more stable before the real deluge of soggy weather this winter.