An unstable slope above the latest slide on State Route 109 — just outside the Hoquiam city limits — is making it difficult for the state Department of Transportation to begin cleanup efforts to reopen the roadway.
Department of Transportation geotechnical engineers visited the site at milepost 3 — just yards west of the city limits at Grays Harbor Boulevard — on Monday, just a day after the slide came down.
“They estimated the slide is 300 feet long and up to 90 feet high,” said Department of Transportation spokeswoman Cara Mitchell. “About one-third of the debris is on the highway or in the bay. There is another two-thirds of the debris that is detached but remains on the slope above the highway.”
She said the department is in the process of putting an emergency contract in place to address the work.
“We don’t have a timeline for reopening as of now,” said Mitchell. “We don’t know what damage has occurred to the highway until we can remove the debris and the hillside is stable.”
The signed detour set up Sunday, the same as the detours in place for previous slides, will remain in place for the foreseeable future. The detour route includes Powell Road, Ocean Beach Road, Highway 101 and the State Route 109 spur.
Mitchell said Tuesday the Department of Transportation was working on a blog expected to publish later that day where new updates on the roadway will be posted when they become available. Updates when available can also be found on the travel alerts web page, www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/Western.aspx.