WSDOT Communications 509-667-2815 (Wenatchee)
Tim Davison WSDOT Electronics Supervisor 509-667-3087 (Wenatchee)
WENATCHEE: Some of the Knapp’s Hill Tunnel's 220 luminaire support hangers are experiencing fatigue and five of them have failed since the last preventative maintenance cycle in 2009. Safety-chains on the fixtures have prevented any fixtures from falling to the tunnel floor.
Repair to the fixtures and re-lamping is scheduled for a single day - Feb 6th.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., US 97A traffic will be detoured just south of the tunnel, up SR 971, the Navarre Coulee Road/South Lakeshore Drive for 15 miles back to US 97A, about a mile and a half west of Chelan. While 7 miles of the highway is closed, the detour adds about 15 minutes to the trip. Traffic between Wenatchee and Chelan can also use US 97 and SR 150, adding 11 miles (45 instead of 34) and another 15 minutes to the trip.
Wednesday’s repairs are not unusual as vibration from truck traffic and the regularity of minor earthquakes there, take a toll on all the tunnel’s fixtures. This facility is included on the WSDOT Structure Preservation (P2) project list for future funding to complete the fourth and final section of an ongoing tunnel lining project which will also update the illumination system for the entire tunnel.