A State Route 169 bridge across the Green River near Black Diamond has been declared safe for traffic following emergency repairs of the roadway last week.
The Kummer Bridge, which was closed during the work, reopened shortly after 6 p.m. last Thursday in time for the Independence Day weekend.
Crews worked around the clock to stabilize a slope under the south end of the bridge, according to the state Department of Transportation (DOT). The hillside’s crumbling condition had intensified in recent weeks, prompting the emergency repairs.
Tests conducted in the afternoon last Thursday determined the roadway is now strong enough to support traffic in both lanes, said Lorena Eng, DOT regional administrator..
The repairs don’t permanently solve the bigger problem of the shifting hillside, however. DOT is working on a plan to build a retaining wall parallel to the bridge to slow the landslide, officials said.
Work on the retaining wall could begin as early as September and must be completed by mid-November, before fall’s heavy rain, according to DOT.
Drivers can find more information and regular updates on the project at www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/SR169/GreenRiverRepair/.
Last week’s work included driving more than 30 specialized, slope-stabilizing “nails,” spreading a wire mesh net over the nails and covering the area with spray-on concrete.
Eng said DOT and a contractor for the job wanted the work finished quickly so drivers could use the bridge during the holiday weekend.