Crews today will shut down a five-mile stretch of state Route 7 in Eatonville so they can build a debris containment wall to ward off landslides like the one that closed down the highway last year.
The closure will be between Alder and La Grande. About 1,600 drivers use this stretch of road daily, according to the state Department of Transportation.
A detour leading traffic down state Route 161 and Alder Cutoff Road will be in place through November. WSDOT said the detour will add an extra 15 minutes to trips through the area.
Crews are building a permanent debris containment wall to replace the temporary one that was constructed after a landslide dumped more than 300 cubic yards of debris on SR 7 last April.
Despite the construction, WSDOT said it will temporarily reopen the highway twice before November. Once will be for the Morton Logger’s Jubilee from Aug 8-13; the second time will be Labor Day weekend from Aug. 30-Sept. 3.