The massive mudslide that killed 43 people, as seen from the air a few days after the disaster near Oso. (AP File/Ted S. Warren)

The massive mudslide that killed 43 people, as seen from the air a few days after the disaster near Oso. (AP File/Ted S. Warren)

They want people to remember what happened on Highway 530

A grassroots campaign seeks to name part of the road the Oso Memorial Highway.

OSO — If they get their way, a stretch of Highway 530 between Arlington and Darrington will get a second name.

The campaign has its advocates: families who lost loved ones, locals who live across the Stillaguamish Valley and volunteers and first responders who waded into the mud in search of the missing.

They are planning to write the Washington State Transportation Commission to rally support for naming part of the roadway the Oso Memorial Highway.

“This is something we have to do,” said John Hadaway, whose brother, Steven Hadaway, was among the 43 people killed in the 2014 mudslide.

It is one aspect of efforts under way to create a memorial at the site of the mudslide.

Earlier this year, families announced plans for the memorial. They’ve been working with Snohomish County Parks. The project is to be funded through donations. The memorial committee is made up of volunteers, and contributions go directly to the project.

It will likely take upwards of $3 million to build the memorial, according to the project website. That includes design, permitting, prep work and construction.

Some pieces may be done sooner than others. One such detail is a planned sculpture of the mailboxes that once served as a landmark to turn off the highway into the Steelhead Haven neighborhood.

Getting the stretch of highway renamed fits into the group’s vision.

“It’s not about any of us,” Hadaway said. “It’s about the 43 lives” as well as those who survived and those who helped over many months.

His brother, Steven, 53, was installing a satellite dish at a home on Steelhead Drive when the slide hit. It took more than two months to find his body.

There is plenty of precedent for highway name changes. Earlier this year, a part of U.S. Highway 395 in Eastern Washington was named the Thomas S. “Tom” Foley Memorial Highway following a vote by the Legislature. Foley served in Congress for three decades, and from 1989 to 1995 was speaker of the House.

Dayn Brunner lost his sister, Summer Raffo, in the slide. She was driving on Highway 530 toward Trafton for a side job trimming horse hooves when her Subaru was encased in mud.

He wants drivers to understand what happened when they drive through the valley and specifically the area that was once home to a close-knit neighborhood.

“My number one thing is the legacy of the 43 lives,” Brunner said. “This is one thing we can do.”

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Michael Jensen, left, and Nathan Jensen, right, pick up trash in their encampment that they being forced to clear out of by Parks Department the near Silver Lake on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Annual homeless count could shed light on pandemic’s impact

Snohomish County canceled its 2021 point-in-time count. Officials hope this year’s will bring clarity.

Section of a tsunami high ground map. (Island County)
Tsunami warning fizzled, but future threat to Whidbey is real

State and county officials have long warned about the possibility of a tsunami striking the island.

Judge: Sex abuse of former Marysville student violated law

A woman sued the district last year, accusing a longtime art teacher of sexual abuse in the 1980s.

Darrell Cain, Pierce College Puyallup president and incoming Everett Community College interim president
Pierce College Puyallup president picked to lead EvCC for now

Everett Community College’s board chose Darrell Cain as its interim president.

Christian Sayre (Washington County Sheriff's Office)
$1 million bail for Everett bar owner charged with rapes

Christian Sayre, 35, owner of The Anchor Pub, was charged last week with 10 counts of felony sex crimes.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Democrats ready to ditch the other ‘grand bargain’ of 2021

Here’s what’s happening on Day 10 of the 2022 session of the Washington Legislature.

Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
Jonathan Kline said a museum would be coming in to take most of the pews from the former Jehovah's Witness church on Morris Road outside Coupeville. The Whidbey Homeless Coalition wants to turn the building into an overnight shelter.
Appeal filed against homeless shelter project near Coupeville

More than 300 neighbors signed a letter saying the location isn’t an appropriate place for the shelter.

Snohomish County Jail. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
As omicron surges, frustrations and challenges mount in correction facilities

More than 10% of those in state prisons are infected. “We’re kind of in this Twilight Zone cycle,” one prisoner said.

The entrance to the new free COVID vaccination site at the Everett Mall on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Free mass-vaccination site opens Tuesday at Everett Mall

Hundreds of appointments are up for grabs at the state-run site, which will offer initial doses, boosters and pediatric shots.

Most Read