Both directions of I-82 near Wapato now closed due to damaged irrigation culvert, embankment failure

WAPATO – Both directions of Interstate 82 near Wapato are closed until further notice following the discovery on Monday, Feb. 12 of an embankment failure near the eastbound lanes.

A comprehensive inspection by Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance and engineering teams indicate damage to a large irrigation culvert under the highway. The culvert is operated by the Roza Irrigation District. Due to the age of the structure, severe corrosion caused a partial collapse.

WSDOT selected Interstate Concrete & Asphalt in Yakima to begin repair work. Excavation began Thursday, Feb. 15. During the process, more damage occurred to the culvert under eastbound I-82 and started impacting the shoulder and the left lane of the westbound lanes. WSDOT closed both westbound lanes at 6:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 16 to ensure the safety of travelers. WSDOT is working with the Roza Irrigation District to develop a preliminary replacement solution to meet irrigation needs and reopen the highway as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Detour routes

While I-82 remains closed, traffic in both directions will follow detour routes:

  • Eastbound traffic will detour off I-82 at exit 37A onto US 97. Travelers will then use McDonald Road to State Route 22 and back onto I-82.
  • Westbound traffic will detour off I-82 at exit 50 onto Buena Road and then follow a detour via Yakima Valley Highway and Donald Wapato Road to return to I-82.

Travelers should allow extra time and plan for delays while work to repair the area is underway. This is an extended closure and there is no estimate on when the work will be complete and the highway reopened.

Slow down – lives are on the line. 

In 2023, speeding continued to be a top reason for work zone crashes.

Even one life lost is too many.

Fatal work zone crashes doubled in 2023 - Washington had 10 fatal work zone crashes on state roads.

It's in EVERYONE’S best interest.

95% of people hurt in work zones are drivers, their passengers or passing pedestrians, not just our road crews.