Good news for the communities of Arlington, Oso and Darrington. Following a moment of silence at noon on Saturday, May 31, State Route 530 will reopen to traffic. That means a crucial link between the three communities will be re-established. The highway has been closed for more than two months while crews worked to clear the deadly landslide that covered a mile of the rural corridor.
Contractor crews from IMCO Construction have been working 'round the clock to remove nearly 90,000 cubic yards of material that blanketed the highway on March 22, 2014. The road is being reopened a week earlier than planned, and the project came in at least $1.5 million under the original projected amount of $4.9 million.
The material-removal plan crafted by WSDOT and Snohomish County was implemented by Environmental Science Associates (ESA), ensuring any items uncovered were handled with the utmost respect. Many of the employees hired by ESA are from local communities and had assisted during the search and recovery operations.
Granite Construction Inc. piloted traffic to and from Darrington around the clock along the Seattle City Light access road. With a set schedule for travel both ways, they provided needed relief to local residents. The alternative was a long detour around the closed portion of SR 530 that added hours to commutes and created additional hardships.
When the road reopens on Saturday, there won't be enough room for two lanes of traffic. Here are the Rules of the Road:
- Drivers will continue to be piloted eastbound and westbound
- There will be no prescribed schedule: Flaggers will alternate directions based on demand
- The speed limit will be 25 mph
- Gravel covers about 600 feet of road in a section discovered to be missing when slide material was removed
Contractor named to design and build new elevated roadway
Guy F. Atkinson Construction has been awarded the design/build contract by WSDOT in the amount of $20.57 million to construct a new portion of SR 530 through the slide area. Due to the flood risk caused by the landslide, plus the geographic changes to the Stillaguamish River North Fork, the roadway must be elevated.
During construction, traffic will periodically return to the Seattle City Light access road. A community meeting will be held in mid-June, hosted by WSDOT and the design/build contractor. As details are finalized, updates will be posted on the SR 530 project page and made available through email updates. Substantial completion of the new alignment is expected in early October 2014.
The entire cost of the reconstruction projected will be covered by the Federal Highway Administration's emergency relief funds.