OSO – Four months and $4.4 million later, the road to Darrington is again fully open.
A hillside that was in danger of falling on Highway 530 halfway between Darrington and Arlington has been stabilized.
“Probably the scariest thing about this project was working out here the first few weeks,” said Eric Hansen, a state Department of Transportation project inspector. “You would look up and see that wall of mud and wonder if it was going to give way and fall on you.”
Heavy February rains caused a mudslide that threatened to wash over the road, Hansen said.
Two 500-foot-plus retaining walls were built at the site. The road surface was built back up, new pavement was laid down and a new guardrail was installed.
The final touches will be finished today, said Travis Phelps, a state Transportation Department spokesman.
For months, travelers have had to use a dirt-road detour to get around the site, something that ends now that the project is finished.
Hansen said the new retaining walls are unique because they both have to hold up the mountainside and allow large amounts of rainwater to flow through it.
The project was paid for with federal road emergency funds.
Reporter Lukas Velush: 425-339-3449 or email@example.com.