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Monday, February 07, 2011
Dustin Terpening, Communications, 360-757-5997 (Burlington)
Chris Damitio, Project Engineer, 360-788-7403 (Bellingham)
GLACIER – The Nooksack River is eroding a portion of riverbank along Mount Baker Highway (State Route 542) and threatening the stability of the highway. Crews will start emergency repairs this week to protect the road and keep it open to drivers.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has kept a close eye on the highway and riverbank at milepost 29.9, four miles east of Maple Falls, since late-January, after several storms swelled the Nooksack River.
WSDOT will remove several logs from the river that appear to be redirecting the river into the riverbank and eroding the hillside.
WSDOT has hired Strider Construction Company, Inc., through a $25,000 emergency contract and will begin work Tuesday, Feb. 8. The work is expected to take less than a week to complete. Drivers should expect minor delays during the day while flaggers alternate traffic through the work zone.
Seven logs chained to boulders are redirecting the river, and were installed as part of an emergency project in 2006 to protect a stretch of eroding riverbank immediately upstream. The logs were dislodged from their original position by the powerful Nooksack River. A total of 30 logs and rocks were originally installed, and the rest continue to protect the riverbank and highway as intended.
This stretch of highway has a history of erosion and repairs. WSDOT will continue to keep a close eye on it and make improvements and repairs as necessary to keep the highway open and safe for drivers.
Photos are available on Flicker at : http://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/sets/72157625998405686/with/5425361055/.
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