There is good news for commuters who use US 12 east of Elma: one lane of the highway reopened at about 8:15 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Motorists driving on US 12 between Elma and Oakville can expect reduced speeds and a single lane of alternating traffic until further notice.
Earlier Thursday, WSDOT crews closed the highway at Porter Creek Road, milepost 27, after debris from an adjacent slope broke loose. WSDOT geotechnical engineers spent the day assessing the stability of the slope. They determined that the slide site remained active, and in order to ensure the safety of the traveling public, recommended the highway remain closed until temporary measures were put into place.
Those measures, which include removing trees that could fall from the hillside, building a berm to contain future falling debris, placing a roadway barrier and installing a temporary traffic signal, were completed early Thursday evening. At about 8:15 p.m., a single lane of US 12 was reopened.
WSDOT will continue to monitor the hillside and create a plan for permanent repairs.