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"Don't look now, but SR-166 is closed again"
"OK, commuters, if you haven't noticed already, State Route 166 at Ross Point will be closed for slide-proofing repairs from Aug. 14 to Sept. 2.That time frame comes with one caveat, though, warned Amity Trowbridge, mudslide control engineer for the state Department of Transportation (DOT). Should there be any poor weather days, or if it rains quite a bit, the construction company could receive a few more working days to get the job done. This project is weather-dependent.The closures, which will be effective 24 hours a day, seven days a week, come three days later than expected because paperwork glitches cropped up between the state and Olympia-based DLB Earthwork Construction.Apparently, the construction company turned in insurance papers a few days later than expected, and so the contract wasn't executed on Aug. 1 as expected, said Trowbridge. Ten days after the contract is a done deal, then work can begin.Complete closures are necessary, she said, because public safety is a key concern. Engineers with DLB Earthwork Construction expect to haul out large amounts of dirt from the hillside, much of which could leech out onto the roadway. Besides, with all the heavy machinery used in such an endeavor, traffic along that thoroughfare just isn't a good idea, she said.The construction company plans to install several drains into the hillside as well as a rock buttress to prevent future slides. The work site is located between the two buttresses already along the hillside, west of Port Orchard.This current slide-proofing endeavor will cost the state about $600,000, Trowbridge said.And, next year, the state will prepare to spend about another $700,000 on an additional slide-proofing endeavor along the hillside at Ross Point.Trowbridge confirmed DOT officials secured the easements necessary to complete yet another stage in the slide-proofing process, which has lasted several years.Two walls, one a retaining wall and the other an interceptor wall, will be constructed along the hillside at Wilkens Drive and, whatever company takes on the job, will also be required to flatten the slope. The interceptor wall, Trowbridge said, would be installed to catch any sloughing that could occur over time in that area.DOT officials say the job could go out to bid by early next year. "