Local Information

State Route 7 near Alder remains closed in Pierce County

Monday, December 23, 2019 - 15:41

Cara Mitchell, communications, 360-357-2703
Doug Adamson, communications, 360-357-2716

EATONVILLE – Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews are keeping a 6-mile section of State Route 7 north of Alder closed around-the-clock into the New Year after heavy rainfall on Friday, Dec. 20 triggered several rockslides.

SR 7 will remain closed at the Alder Cutoff Road intersection between milepost 21.7 and at the SR 161 intersection near milepost 27.1. Local access only is allowed. Travelers will detour via the Alder Cutoff Road East and SR 161, adding approximately 10 minutes to the trip.

Pierce County weight restrictions are in place on the Alder Cutoff Road East. Overweight loads can detour via US 12, Interstate 5, SR 507 and SR 702.

Over the next two weeks, WSDOT maintenance crews will remove debris and extend temporary barrier on roadway shoulder. The barrier is a preventative measure to contain any new debris that may come down during heavy rain.

Once the highway reopens, there will temporarily be a single lane with alternating traffic in place and a reduced speed limit.

Permanent repair being identified

After inspecting the hillside above SR 7 through Alder Canyon on Monday, Dec. 23, WSDOT geotechnical engineers recommend extending and installing more wire netting along sections of the hillside where debris may fall on the highway below. Cost estimates and how soon this work may occur are still being determined.

Earlier this year, contractor crews working for WSDOT performed rock removal and slope stabilization on SR 7 in Alder Canyon. The geotechnical engineer noted that the netting that was installed this fall is effectively directing the hillside debris into the ditch adjacent to the highway.

Visit the Pierce County construction web page for updated maintenance and construction information. Real-time traveler information is available from the WSDOT app and by following the WSDOT regional Twitter feed.

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