Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Emergency repairs will require SR 28 bypass closure in East Wenatchee starting Thursday

By Lauren Loebsack

Regular commuters of SR 28 through East Wenatchee have probably noticed the bump on the eastbound SR 28 bypass near Fred Meyer and know this isn't the first time there's been settlement on this section of road. Maintenance crews have been out to repave at this location which smoothed out the bump for a time.

Since then, we've been investigating what caused the bump and have determined the problem is related to a failed subsurface stormwater pipe. That means water has been leaking under the road for some time and eroding away the fill. This has caused voids underneath the roadway that settle.

Signs of settling and strucural issues at the Apple Capital trail underpass on the SR 28 eastbound bypass in East Wenatchee

Increased runoff from winter weather is likely to make this issue worse, leading to bigger problems for the roadway and retaining wall. Because of the urgency of these repairs, we've hired Pipkin Construction for an emergency project that will begin on Thursday, Nov. 10.

The project will include excavating an 80 ft. long trench on the bypass to replace the damaged length of pipe, fill in the voids caused by water infiltration, and rebuild and repave the road. To accomplish this safely and efficiently, the contractor will close the eastbound bypass beginning Thursday at 6 a.m. This means travelers headed east on SR 28 towards Rock Island and Quincy will be detoured over the George Sellar Bridge to reconnected to SR 28 eastbound. The Fifth St. NE westbound access from Valley Mall Parkway will also be closed to the roundabout to help maintain traffic flow. This also means access to Fred Meyer from the ramps will be closed. For everyone needing to shop there, you'll need to use the right turn at the intersection of SR 28 and Grant Rd. The Apple Capital Loop trail will also be closed at the underpass.

The eastbound detour for SR 28 will be over the SR 2185 George Sellar Bridge to turn around
and access SR 28 at in the Grant Rd. intersection
  • In order to accommodate all vehicles, including trucks and larger vehicles, travelers that are eastbound from SR 28 on Sunset Highway heading to Rock Island and Quincy will be detoured over the George Sellar Bridge to turn around and access SR 28 at the intersection of Grant Rd.
  • Travelers that are eastbound from Wenatchee who want to travel north to 9th St., Valley Mall Parkway or Sunset Highway towards the junction of US 2/97 will still be able to use the underpass.
  • Westbound access to the George Sellar Bridge on 5th St. NE from Valley Mall Parkway will be closed to maintain detour traffic flow.

The bypass must remain closed through the entirety of project, which could take up to 10 days. The exact timeline is still unknown because the extent of the damage and needed repairs won't be fully known until the roadway is opened up. It's expected that this will cause some heavy traffic and longer travel times around the George Sellar Bridge and Grant Rd. intersections, so it'll be important to add some time to your travel plans or consider alternative routes depending on your destination.