Local Information

It’s open! Crews reopen final two miles of SR 112 in Clallam County

Friday, July 9, 2021 - 15:32

Tina Werner, communications, 360-704-3270

SEKIU – After a 200-day closure of State Route 112 due to extensive winter landslide damage, a long-awaited moment for Olympic Peninsula travelers has finally arrived. Crews reopened the remaining 2 miles of the Strait of Juan de Fuca Highway (SR 112) in Clallam County on Friday, July 9. The signed detour using US 101 and SR 113 has been removed.

“The magnitude of these slides was beyond what our crews see in a typical winter,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Dan McKernan. “Work required extensive geotechnical and hydraulic expertise to repair the six landslides. In one spot, the roadway dropped 13 feet.”

Repairs to all six locations required crews to close the highway for nearly 7 months. The $1.4 million emergency repair contract was awarded to Scarsella Bros, Inc. Clearing work to reopen the highway began in May. The project was completed on time and on budget.

Crews removed approximately 600 truckloads of dirt from the slide sites, installed 105 ground anchors to stabilize the hillside and corrected four damaged culverts as part of this project.

WSDOT maintenance crews will continue to monitor the sites for future ground movement. If another slide or substantial settlement occurs, WSDOT geotechnical engineers will evaluate and recommend next steps as appropriate.

Long-term maintenance and preservation concern

SR 112 hugs the Salish Sea and sits on an active slide zone. Geotechnical engineers have documented significant slide activity every 10 to 20 years. An emergency contract to repair the highway was made available to expedite the clearing process.  

Maintenance crews will store crushed asphalt nearby to utilize when the highway settles again. Asphalt grindings can be used for smaller roadway settlement concerns in the future.

"We reopened portions of the highway as a gravel surface to reduce costs and allow for an efficient repair by our maintenance crews should the highway see mintor settlement issues in the future," said WSDOT Assistant Regional Administrator of Maintenance and Operations Troy Cowan. "I am incredibly proud of the careful resposne and hard work of all our crews invovled to reopen as quickly and safely as possible."

Background

On Dec. 21, 2020, unusually warm temperatures, heavy rains, snow and seasonal tides forced maintenance crews to close 8 miles of SR 112. When crews inspected the roadway before reopening, they found roadway settlement in three separate locations. As rains continued to fall in the weeks that followed, three additional trouble spots were identified.

WSDOT would like to thank travelers for their patience as this important project was conducted.

Before heading out the door, travelers can find the latest road conditions on the WSDOT app and by following the WSDOT regional Twitter feed.

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