State Highway 503 span to partially reopen

first_imgDrivers looking to head to the hills just north of Clark County will find some reprieve next week.State Highway 503, near Speelyai Bay Road along Lake Merwin, will partially reopen before Friday, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.A temporary barrier will be put in place between the hillside and traffic. One lane of the highway will be reopened, and traffic will alternate with the assistance of a temporary signal. Flaggers will usher traffic through the work zone during work hours 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. The speed limit will also be reduced to 25 mph.The slope still needs to be stabilized for the long term. Crews will be anchoring and bolting the slope in place next week, and the work will continue into the summer. As a result, the road may be closed periodically as needed. WSDOT plans to leave the detour route through Amboy north to Yale in place until the slope is finished.“We’d like to thank everyone for their patience,” WSDOT project engineer Lori Figone said in a news release. “We know this is a vital stretch of road for many folks and appreciate your understanding as we continue work to stabilize the slope.”The highway has been closed since March 13 when a debris slide blocked the road and a 10,000-ton rock slab the size of a basketball court was discovered to be precariously looming above.“Typically with a landslide or debris slide, (there) would be rocks, mud and trees, (and) we get a bulldozer and knock it off the highway and get things moving,” WSDOT spokeswoman Tamara Greenwell said. “This is a unique situation — it was a massive rock slab threatening the roadway. ”last_img read more