Local Information

Landslide risk due to heavy rain keeps SR 4, west of Cathlamet closed until further notice

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 09:03

Tamara Greenwell, communications, 360-905-2056

Joanna Lowrey, project engineer, 360-442-1350

CATHLAMET –Travelers who use State Route 4 near Bjornstad Road need to add extra time to their trips for an indeterminate amount of time due to a debris slide. With more rain in the forecast and the stability of the slide uncertain, the Washington State Department of Transportation does not know when the highway will reopen.

“We want to begin cleanup and repair work as soon as possible,” said WSDOT project engineer Joanna Lowrey. “Once we can safely get crews into the area, we’ll have a clearer picture of the extent of the work and when we can reopen the highway.”

On Monday, Jan. 27, in preparation for work to begin, WSDOT awarded an emergency repair contract to Nutter Corporation. Contractor crews are developing a plan to safely remove fallen trees from the unstable slope and as early as Tuesday, Jan. 28, will move equipment to the slide location. This work is the first step in a long process to clean up debris.

WSDOT engineering geologists are analyzing video of the slide captured with drone technology to develop a long-term fix to stabilize the hillside. On Thursday, Jan. 23, heavy rain caused the slope above the highway to give way, closing all lanes.


During the closure, traffic can use US 30 in Oregon by crossing the Lewis and Clark Bridge (SR 433) in Longview or the Astoria-Megler Bridge (US 101). Local traffic can use the Wahkiakum County Ferry, which will run free of charge on a 24/7 schedule during the highway closure.

Although the alternate route adds significant trip time, WSDOT appreciates those who avoid the area. Travelers can sign up to receive updates about the work by signing up for highway email notifications.

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