Drivers who use State Route 14 through the Columbia River Gorge should plan for possible delays for emergency pavement-repair work.
Extreme temperatures, record rainfall, and freeze/thaw cycles left miles of roadway rutted and crumbling.
Contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation began work last Friday, March 31, to repair sections of the highway damaged by harsh winter weather.
“With the extent of the damage, we want to get started as soon as the rain lets up,” said WSDOT Pro-ject Engineer Devin Reck. “We’re anticipating some breaks in the weather at the end of the month, and our crews are ready to get to work.”
During daylight hours on dry-weather days, single-lane closures will be necessary in either direction of SR 14. Drivers can expect delays of up to 20 minutes.
Additional work to repave stret-ches of SR 14 in Klickitat County is scheduled to begin in mid-April, with all emergency paving repairs scheduled for completion by late spring.
“The work on SR 14 in Klickitat County is weather dependent,” noted WSDOT spokesperson Cel-este Dimichina. “However, as soon as we have a set date, we plan to put out another release.”
Bart Treece, spokesman for WSDOT’s Columbia Gorge office, said a start date for the paving in “mid-April is the best we can forecast at this time.“
In an unrelated matter, WSDOT is planning an open house for later this month for its proposed Bingen overpass project from SR 14 to Port of Klickitat property south of the BNSF Railway tracks. Treece said details will be forthcoming.