WSDOT updates schedule on SR 530 work

DARRINGTON The Washington State Department of Transportation has updated their projected schedule for the work on state Route 530 north of Darrington.
According to WSDOT spokesperson Dustin Terpening, contractor Wilder Construction of Bellingham begins surveying the area between mileposts 55.5 and 56 Sept. 19, during which time motorists should start to see orange safety fences going up. Motorists should likewise plan for lane closures starting Sept. 24, as crews commence clearing away trees and shrubs.
They need to determine the exact locations theyll be working at, Terpening said. Theyll also be making sure that they fulfill all the environmental prerequisites.
Terpening expects that construction should begin in earnest Oct. 1 and last for approximately three to four weeks, into late October or early November.
The lane closures should only affect one lane a day and last for two to three weeks, Terpening said.
The construction work seeks to prevent State Route 530 from collapsing into the Sauk River by armoring the riverbank with more than 100 evergreen trees and 15,000 tons of boulders, since WSDOT engineers predict the highway will collapse this fall if nothing is done to protect it.
The river is as close as 30 feet to the road in some places, said WSDOT engineer Sam Chi. Last year, the river ate more than 30 feet of the riverbank.
The trees and boulders will be clumped together in 12 piles, projecting from the riverbank toward the river, specifically spaced along a quarter-mile stretch of the highway, and buried 15 to 20 feet beneath the riverbank. These log and rock piles will be exposed when the river rises and erodes the remaining riverbank, buffering the highway from the river.
Wilder Construction was hired for $1.9 million, less than the WSDOT engineers estimate of $2.4 million. For more information, log onto

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