Slide repair will reduce westbound SR 18 to one lane Nov. 11–15
If the rain holds off, drivers who use westbound State Route 18 east of Auburn should be prepared for delays starting Friday night, Nov. 11.
Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will start repairing a hillside that slid in November 2015. The right lane of westbound SR 18 will be closed from 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11 to 5 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, just east of the Green River Bridge. The westbound left lane will remain open throughout the project.
The work is weather-dependent. A forecast of significant rain could postpone the repair work.
Drivers should expect delays
Westbound SR 18 carries about 27,000 vehicles daily in this area. Reducing it to one lane will likely create delays on:
- Monday afternoon of up to an hour.
- Sunday afternoon and Monday morning of about 30 minutes.
- Friday night and Saturday of 15 minutes or less.
Drivers should consider using State Route 516 between Covington and Kent as an alternate route. However, delays are possible on westbound SR 516 as well, depending on how many drivers use the detour.
The hillside is stable now, but WSDOT geotechnical engineers are concerned that months of wet weather this winter could trigger another slide. Repairing it now will reduce the chances of another slide that could endanger drivers and damage the highway.
To repair the hillside, the contractor crews will use the closed right lane and shoulder for an excavator with a 72-foot-long arm. The excavator will remove soil to build terraces in the hillside, which then will be covered with rocks to reduce the chance of a future slide.