June 3, 2020
Granite Construction, LLC has been selected as the contractor for the emergency repair project above the Knapps Hill Tunnel. Work will begin on June 15 inside the current closure between mileposts 223-230 and is scheduled for 20 working days, weather permitting. This section of the highway will remain fully closed until this work is complete.
By Lauren Loebseck and Mike Allende
It's no secret that rocks falling onto US 97A south of Lake Chelan has been an ongoing issue. And while a project is scheduled to begin on May 20 to improve safety in that area, an increase in the frequency and severity of rockfalls at Knapps Hill Tunnel has made it necessary to close that section of road from milepost 223-230 to all traffic until mitigation can be made to the slope above the tunnel.
|Rocks that have fallen onto US 97A. These rocks have exposed larger boulders higher up|
the cliff that present significant hazards to traffic.
Work on a rock slope scaling project to improve safety on that route was scheduled to begin on April 1, but the Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation paused most construction and maintenance work. That work is now ready to begin and crews will begin flagging traffic through the area during the day on May 20 and 21, with delays expected to last up to 20 minutes. Starting May 26, day-long closures of the highway will be in place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through June 15.
This situation is developing, and details will become clear as we work through moving the emergency work to construction. Updates will be provided via travel advisories and social media. We know this creates logistical challenges for many, and we are eager to safely reopen the tunnel once it is safe to do so.