SR 3 ‘slides’ to finish line

SR 3 before slide repairs
By guest blogger Claudia Bingham Baker

With months of record-setting dry weather gracing the area, it’s hard to remember that just a few months before, heavy rains caused many landslides along our state highways. One such slide on State Route 3 just north of Shelton had reduced the highway to one alternating lane of traffic since mid-March. On Oct. 4, WSDOT completed a repair that allowed the second lane to reopen.

The concept of the repair was straightforward enough – build a 120-foot-long retaining wall to reinforce the damaged section of highway. The execution of the repair, however, was another story.  Steep slopes and tough terrain added challenges to the crew as they drilled H-shaped steel piles deep into the slope and reinforced them with ground anchors. They then installed treated horizontal timbers between the piles to stabilize the slope and support the road. 

SR 3 slide repairs
Photos tell the story the best. The ‘before’ photo shows water damage and erosion to the aging retaining wall and hillside. The ‘after’ photo shows the width and breadth of the repairs. “Those repairs will ensure that this section of highway is stable for years to come,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Scott Ireland. “We sure appreciate the patience that drivers showed us while the road was down to one lane.” 

Contractor Rognlin’s Inc. of Aberdeen completed the $1.3 million emergency repair on time and within budget.