COURTESY GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY 
                                A drone photo shows the construction on Blue Slough Road. The project takes out the curves at around the 2.5-mile mark of the roadway, which is expected to reopen by the end of October.

COURTESY GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY A drone photo shows the construction on Blue Slough Road. The project takes out the curves at around the 2.5-mile mark of the roadway, which is expected to reopen by the end of October.

Blue Slough Road project on track for October completion

A straighter version of Blue Slough Road, a popular cutoff between State Route 107 south of Montesano and Cosmopolis, should be reopened by the end of October.

“We’re taking some curves out of that road at around the 2.5-mile marker,” said county construction engineer Brandon Ainsworth.

The road was closed for the project in early July. Ainsworth said the contract with Brumfield Construction was for four months, so the end of October is the target for completion.

“We’re hoping to get it open before that, it just depends on the weather,” he said.

A drone photo of the construction site shows the fill work that had to be done to straighten the roadway. As of last week, “they’re putting in their crushed rock right now” and paving could begin in the next week, said Ainsworth.

The project required filling in some wetland areas, which in turn requires some wetland mitigation work.

“We had to go through some wetlands there so we have to do some mitigation,” said Ainsworth. “Where the old road is, we have to tear that out and put topsoil” and other mitigation factors including planting.

The previously windy section of roadway was prone to accidents; the straightening project should help alleviate some of that risk.

Ainsworth said this project is unrelated to a slide prone area of Blue Slough Road that was severely damaged in November of 2017, closing the roadway until February 2018.

The slide area is about a mile from the Blue Slough/State Route 107 junction and more than a mile from the current construction area toward Cosmopolis, said Ainsworth. County crews got the roadway reopened in February 2018 by installing a culvert to project the roadway from future slides, and so far the road has held up to heavy winter rains. The cost of a permanent fix to the slide area would run into the millions, said Ainsworth.

Engineers estimated the current project would cost a little over a million dollars. Brumfield Construction submitted the lowest of four bids received by the county in the spring, $883,387.