Emergency repairs planned for SR 530

DARRINGTON Washington State Department of Transportation crews began emergency repairs on State Route 530 Dec. 14, after heavy rain pushed the Sauk River to near-flood levels the week before, eroding the riverbank and moving the river to within several feet to State Route 530 in two locations north of Darrington.
WSDOT Environmental Manager Alan Soicher said the trouble spots are near Jenkins Lane, between mileposts 59 and 60, and south of the Sauk River Bridge, at milepost 56. He noted the river has caused problems at both locations for many years, eroding the riverbank and threatening to undermine the highway. He added that WSDOT completed repairs to the section south of the Sauk River Bridge in November, which saved the road during the latest storms.
Crews are closing one lane through both work zones 24 hours a day until their work is complete, which WSDOT Communications spokesperson Dustin Terpening predicted would happen within two weeks in both locations. He advised drivers to expect minor delays, as flaggers direct alternating traffic through one open lane.
Strider Construction is under emergency contracts to repair the section near Jenkins Lane, while Wilder Construction makes additional repairs to the section south of the Sauk River Bridge. According to a statement issued by WSDOT, both jobs should cost less than $500,000.
Crew will repair the Jenkins Lane section by building a 25-foot-tall rock wall to reinforce the riverbank and protect the road, which is a temporary repair until WSDOT shifts State Route 530 away from the river in 2009. The state legislature gave WSDOT $3.1 million in 2005 to design and build permanent protection for this section of State Route 530.
At the Sauk River Bridge section, crews will use a combination of logs and rocks to reinforce the riverbank, which should help slow the river and shift its force away from the highway.
The logs and rocks we buried in the riverbank two months ago did exactly what they were supposed to do, said WSDOT Engineering Manager Jay Drye. The Sauk River ate a good portion of the riverbank, but the rocks and logs kept the road intact.

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