Online Comment Period Open Through September 15

by Dennis Rahm

A small turnout of about 14 area residents attended a WSDOT Open House at Chelan City Hall on Wednesday to discuss impacts of a planned rock slope scaling project along Highway 97-A next spring. A similar open house will be held in Entiat on Tuesday, August 20 from 4 pm to 7pm at the Entiat Grange.

An online Open House is also available through September 15th. DOT spokesman Joey Burnell said the online feedback will carry just as much weight as comments delivered in person at the open house events. WSDOT is looking for public comments to help determine the timing and length of the closures to complete the work.

The public is encouraged to comment on four construction options ranging from an all day 7 am to 5 pm closure that would last approximately 10 working days to three other options that would allow for one or more road openings per day and that would entail a construction project timeframe of 14 to 33 days duration.

The rock scaling project will remove loose rock at three locations along Highway 97-A and work is planned to begin next April. The project is designed to reduce the adverse effects of unstable slopes adjacent to Highway 97-A between Entiat and Knapps Hill tunnel. The area experiences a chronic problem with falling rocks that reach the highway and pose a safety concern to motorists.

The selection of a road closure option is likely to be made by late September with the project going out for bid in January of 2020. The work is funded through the Highway Capital Preservation-Unstable Slopes program. To comment via the online Open House, click here

Related LCN Story:

August 9, 2019: Rock Scaling Project Planned on Hwy. 97-A