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Emergency repairs begin on damaged culvert beneath SR 505 in Winlock

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Date:  Friday, April 06, 2012

Contact: Denys Tak, WSDOT project engineer, (800) 545-1393 (toll-free)
Heidi Sause, WSDOT communications, 360-905-2057 (Vancouver)

WINLOCK – Emergency work begins today, April 6, to repair a damaged culvert undermining State Route 505 in Winlock.

On Thursday, April 5, the Washington State Department of Transportation hired contractor Tapani Underground Inc. of Battle Ground to address the failing culvert, which was discovered March 27 and opened a 15-foot-deep sinkhole in downtown Winlock. The sinkhole temporarily rerouted traffic from the two-lane SR 505 to local side streets.

Crews will begin work this morning to determine the extent of damage and then start repairs. While geotechnical crews have assessed the soil surrounding the culvert, there is only so much data that can be gathered from above ground. “We need to get a camera inside the culvert to get a better look at the conditions of the pipe,” said WSDOT project engineer Denys Tak. “The sooner we know what we’re looking at, the sooner we’ll know how long repairs will take.”

WSDOT hopes to replace the section of damaged culvert, fill in the sinkhole and repave the highway within the next three weeks. Repairs will be paid for using state highway maintenance and preservation funds, and are estimated at $250,000.

In the meantime, drivers will continue using local roads to detour around the closure. Low clearance vehicles can follow a signed detour north on North Military Road, west on West Avery Road and south on Highway 603 to Winlock. This section of SR 505 is used by an average of 3,300 vehicles each day.

Visit the WSDOT Flickr site for photos of the sinkhole.

Hyperlinks within the news release:
• Denys Tak email  
• Heidi Sause email  
• Flickr  


WSDOT keeps people, businesses and the economy moving by operating and improving the state's transportation systems. To learn more about what we're doing, go to for pictures, videos, news and blogs. Real time traffic information is available at or by dialing 511.

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