ARTIC, Wash. – A notoriously bumpy section of US 101 will receive a temporary facelift as Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews repave a 200-foot-long section of roadway near the town of Artic.
Between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 19, US 101 will be reduced to a single lane and flaggers will provide traffic control for one-way, alternating traffic. When paving is complete, WSDOT will lift a 25 mile-per-hour speed limit that had been in place, and restore the previous 55 mile-per-hour speed limit.
WSDOT expects the new pavement to provide only temporary relief to motorists.
“This is more than a cosmetic issue,” said Olympic Region Administrator Kevin Dayton. “The road sits on top of an active landslide. The ground won’t stop moving until we put in a permanent fix, however, we don’t have the funds to complete this work.”
To date, crews have managed the problem with frequent asphalt and gravel patches, necessitating the lower speed limit. Three years ago WSDOT installed a sizable culvert under US 101 to direct water away from the slide. Although the culvert helped, it did not stop the ground movement.
“It’s likely we’ll be back this winter patching and leveling the area,” said WSDOT Materials Engineer Bryan Dias. “We’re putting asphalt down now in response to customer requests, but the slope is expected to continue to move and settle.”
WSDOT hopes to fund a permanent repair to the roadway in the 2015-2017 biennium.