Construction work to reopen one lane on SR 401 near Naselle begins this week, but it will take time before the road fully opens.
The Washington Department of Transportation is alerting residents that work to build a temporary bypass road around an unstable section of State Route 401 starts today.
The roadway, also known as Lewis and Clark Trail Highway, between the Astoria-Megler Bridge and Naselle are closed due to the road settling following heavy rainfall.
According to officials, the soil beneath the road near milepost 4.5 was too unstable to allow vehicles safely through and the entire stretch of highway was closed on Tuesday, Feb. 23.
Following analysis, WSDOT geotechnical engineers determined that emergency contractor crews would likely be able to build a temporary bypass road around the damaged section of roadway.
Building that bypass road will require clearing debris, rerouting storm water, filling in the ditch line, paving a new roadway, installing concrete barrier, painting new roadway markings and installing a temporary traffic light.
Provided that the adjacent landslide remains stable; the temporary bypass road will stay in place while crews work on long-term repairs to stabilize the slope and repair to the roadway.
WSDOT’s emergency contractor will begin clearing debris to make way for a temporary road around a damaged section of highway, with the intent of restoring travel along SR 401 between Naselle and Megler by mid-April.
During construction of the bypass road, travelers should continue to use an alternate route and expect delays.
The Dismal Nitch Rest Area, east of the Astoria-Megler Bridge, remains closed.
To receive updates about this work travelers can sign up to receive Pacific County email or text notifications.
Hyperlinks within the release: