Unstable highway down to one lane

Part of State Route 169 near Black Diamond, including a bridge across the Green River, has been restricted to one lane because it could collapse under normal traffic.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Wednesday, June 25, 2008 2:52pm
  • News

The closure Tuesday of a bridge on State Route 169 between Black Diamond and Enumclaw while highway officials decided if it’s safe to drive on will be followed soon by more of the same for repairs.

The state Department of Transportation planned to close the Green River Bridge north of Enumclaw from 6 a.m. 10 p.m. to allow geotechnical experts to drill under its southbound lanes to assess the stability of the ground. A slope under the span is showing signs of weakness, according to DOT.

More closures are coming as early as next week, when emergency interim repairs could start. A DOT spokeswoman said preliminary estimates are that the road would be closed for up to two weeks during the repair work.

The work would include a short retaining wall in the area that’s considered most unstable. Long-term, a wall will need to be built for the entire unstable area adjacent to the highway, and it will need to be finished before heavy rainfall later this year, officials said.

The closures are “a big inconvenience to drivers who travel between Black Diamond and Enumclaw,” said Lorena Eng, a DOT regional administrator. “But we’re concerned about the stability of the slope under the south end of the bridge. We’ll keep traffic off the bridge until we’re sure drivers can use the road safely.”

Tuesday’s closure affected all traffic between Southeast 400th Street and Auburn-Black Diamond Road. A detour route passing west of SR-169 added seven miles and about 10 minutes of drive time to trips, DOT said.

At daybreak, crews were to close all lanes of the bridge and set up a drill rig to bore holes in the ground that’s causing concern. Data from the drilling will allow DOT engineers to analyze the condition of the bridge and roadway foundations. Once the drilling and analysis was finished, the bridge was expected to reopen to one lane of signalized, alternating traffic with a reduced speed limit.

“Our biggest concern is the vibration from big, fast trucks,” said Gary McKee, DOT project engineer. “We can minimize the vibration by reducing the speed limit.”

The limited access will last until further notice and should result in delays of up to five minutes for motorists, according to DOT.




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@covingtonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.covingtonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterburg (File Photo)
King County Prosecuting Attorney vows to protect reproductive freedom

Dan Satterberg joins over 80 prosecutors from around the country in their pledge.

Teaser
King County approves emergency grant after U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Washington is expecting an influx of people seeking abortions from out of state.

Fedor Osipov, 15, flips into Steel Lake in Federal Way during last year's heatwave on June 28, 2021. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Heatwave expected to hit King County

Temperatures will likely reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, June 26, and Monday, June 27.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII: Examining Auburn police officer’s grim tattoos

Episode 5 in special podcast series that explores Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Photo courtesy of King County.
Officials urge caution when swimming this summer

Cold spring temperatures and larger than normal snowpack have created dangerous conditions

File photo
Fireworks ban takes effect this year in unincorporated King County

The new law does not extend to cities, which each have their own regulations around fireworks.

A semiautomatic handgun with a safety cable lock that prevents loading ammunition. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Large-capacity ammo magazine sales ban starts soon in Washington

Starting July 1, a 10-round capacity becomes the limit for sales. Meanwhile, “there is a rush on magazine purchasing.”

At Dash Point on June 16, 2022. Henry Stewart-Wood/Sound Publishing
All that the tides reveal: Puget Sound’s hidden intertidal world

Exploring King County beaches during the lowest tide in the last 13 years.

Most Read