Local Information

Unexpected challenges delay reopening of SR 4 west of Cathlamet

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 11:16

Tamara Greenwell, WSDOT communications, 360-905-2056,

Highway now scheduled to reopen in mid-October; detours remain available

UPDATE: Please note that the road closure and detour are now scheduled to reopen in mid-October. The work is weather dependent.

CATHLAMET – Difficult site conditions and challenging work will delay the reopening of State Route 4 west of Cathlamet.

The road was scheduled to reopen on Friday, Oct. 2, and will now open in mid-October. The remaining work is weather dependent, so an exact re-opening date is not available.

Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation are replacing two small-scale culverts with two larger fish-friendly box culverts. The new culverts measure 12 feet tall and up to 20 feet wide.

During the culvert installation water from a high tidal flow continually seeped through a series of barriers built to keep water out. Crews pumped the water out of the work zone, but that takes time, which contributed to the delay of this project.

“Replacing culverts this size is challenging work, and our contractor is working to finish the job as quickly as possible,” said Project Engineer Joanna Lowrey. “We appreciate the patience of people who use this stretch of SR 4 regularly.”

Project benefits

  • Reduces the risk of damage caused by water going over the roadway, creating potentially hazardous conditions for drivers.
  • Allows more room for debris to move through the culverts, reducing costs of regular maintenance to clean out the culverts.
  • Links the Elochoman River Slough to the Columbia River providing improved fish passage to the tidal marsh lands north of SR 4.

Detour information for SR 4 drivers

  • Eastbound: Turn left onto Risk Road, turn right on Foster Road, turn right on Elochoman Valley Road to return to SR 4.
  • Westbound: Turn right onto Elochoman Valley Road, turn left on Foster Road, turn left on Risk Road to return to SR 4.
  • Bicycle traffic is permitted; however, the detour route has narrow shoulders.
  • Oversized loads are restricted from using the detour route.

Check the latest highway conditions on the Travel Alerts page or by using the WSDOT mobile app.

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