HIGHLAND PARK WAY SLIDE: SDOT expects to reopen road by Friday pm commute

(WSB photo of cleanup work this morning, taken via long lens from top of hill)

Just in from SDOT: Highland Park Way is expected to reopen “by late afternoon Friday.”

Full update from Norm Mah of SDOT:

Highland Park Way SW will remain closed today and is expected to reopen by late afternoon Friday for the PM commute.

SDOT crews have removed 90% of the material that came down from the hillside on to the roadway, about 2400 tons.

Crews will remove the remaining material tomorrow and will place approximately 50 concrete Ecology blocks (6’ long x 2’ wide x 2’ high) along the western edge of Highland Park Way SW to buttress the hillside.

SDOT thanks the public for its patience while this work is being completed.

The slide happened just before 5 am on Wednesday; no one was hurt, but it caused a 2,008-customer power outage for a few hours.

Meantime, we have photos with a closeup look at the slide zone from pre-cleanup, courtesy of Joe Finelli, Jr.:

24 Replies to "HIGHLAND PARK WAY SLIDE: SDOT expects to reopen road by Friday pm commute"

  • Kay K February 16, 2017 (5:21 pm)

    Great shots Joe.

    • WSB February 16, 2017 (5:24 pm)

      They are, and thanks to the person at HPAC/HPIC (I can’t tell quite who it was from the e-mail) for forwarding them and including his permission to republish. I was drafting a story to showcase them and say “still waiting for word on the road’s status” when the power outage hit, and then we got the road update … luckily I already had downloaded the photos.

  • KJ February 16, 2017 (5:22 pm)

    We have sure noticed that our street is much quieter here near High Point. There’s much less through-traffic here when that road is closed. 

    • Alan February 16, 2017 (5:49 pm)

      Yes, traffic comes through here from much of West Seattle. That is something SDOT needs to address.

      • KJ February 16, 2017 (6:55 pm)

        @Alan agree. We usually have a lot of fast-moving cars that are clearly trying to avoid the light at 35th and Morgan. It’s so peaceful tonight!

  • flimflam February 16, 2017 (5:24 pm)

    ooh. those trees are leaning…hope this doesn’t get worse.

  • Tasha February 16, 2017 (5:32 pm)

    I got a transit alert email saying the 131 will continue to be rerouted off Highland Park Way until the 28th. Any idea why? 

    • WSB February 16, 2017 (5:40 pm)

      Tasha – I had asked Metro about that before the road-reopening time frame was announced. They weren’t sure why that end date was put on the advisory, but when the road reopens, the 131 will be back on its regular route, I have been assured. – TR

  • Andrea February 16, 2017 (7:00 pm)

    I can see my street!  Show some love for us on Othello and let us get out that way!  I am totally kidding… kind of haha :)

  • KD February 16, 2017 (7:34 pm)

    Holey Moley! Those photos.. WoW. I wonder what it sounded like, if anyone heard the actual ‘rumble'(?) 5:00 am in the morning also lends to no accidents or fatalities compared to later in the morning. Yikes.

  • Monica Cavagnaro February 16, 2017 (7:36 pm)

    Time for a through inspection of this area. Amazing that no one was injured. I wonder when the next slide will hit, what will it take for the city to examine the hill sides and traffic problems at the crest of the hill. Caution: landslides, falling trees and wires, not to mention the speeding traffic. Welcome to Highland Park!

  • Trickycoolj February 16, 2017 (7:47 pm)

    That’s impressive. And I-90 is getting all the attention today and was small enough to reopen by the pm commute.  Will there be a followup from SDOT on this so we can understand what happened or if there were any underlying causes? WSDOT updated about the I-90 slide that a drain was blocked and diverted water. 

  • Tman February 16, 2017 (8:38 pm)

    Trickyjcool ,

    your dealing with the Seattle  department of transportation they are only willing or capable of painting concrete, taking away lanes, putting up slower speed limit signs and putting pedal bikes first, not representing tax payers.

    • Trickycoolj February 16, 2017 (8:49 pm)

      And driving by 20 potholes to fix the one that was reported. 😒

    • Jon Wright February 16, 2017 (9:12 pm)

      Tell that to the SDOT people that have been working around the clock to get that road reopened.

    • ltfd February 16, 2017 (9:40 pm)

      SDOT works at the behest of the Mayor, and they follow his administration’s priorities.

  • Lissa Kramer February 16, 2017 (10:14 pm)

    That area started sliding last fall during the November rain.  I have observed three spots of logs and sediment creeping onto the road with more visible movements again in the last 5-6 days. Crews have been trimming on the opposite side of the road so I figured it might be related to safety improvements but maybe not.

     I’m not sure there’s a whole lot local government can do to hold back a land mass like this other than not allow building or clearing on these steep hillsides.

  • D Del Rio February 16, 2017 (10:27 pm)

    I am sure they were not talking about the actual workers. Bless them. They where talking about those in charge who don’t have to the dirty work. Our roads in Seattle are atrocious. My 17 year neice who just got her license lives in Federal Way, she couldn’t believe how much worse roads in Seattle are compared to there. I hate to say it, but the blue collar suburb has better roads than Seattle. With our property values and what we pay for taxes, our roads should be paved smooth!

    • AMD February 16, 2017 (11:31 pm)

      Federal Way has much higher property taxes than Seattle does.  I believe they actually have the distinction of having the highest tax rate in the county (last I checked, theirs was 14.55 to our 9.4).

  • Rory Denovan February 16, 2017 (10:27 pm)

    This is what you get when you combine English Ivy and a steep, saturated slope.

  • LyndaB February 17, 2017 (6:15 am)

    I think with all of the construction in the city our streets are more abused with heavy trucks carrying out dirt and delivering so many the materials to build the new buildings.  And after the snow plows rolling in, snap, more potholes, too.  Took my car in for service and the tech commented how my tires had such uneven wear.  Potholes!

  • Deb February 17, 2017 (5:25 pm)

    As a former employee, I can attest that Federal Way City Council directed the Public Works staff to maintain a strong focus on road maintenance and improvement. Indeed, the Council also imposes Transportation Impact Fees to mitigate development related traffic impacts. Pretty advanced stuff….

    • bolo February 17, 2017 (8:47 pm)

      Why doesn’t Seattle do similar?

  • HoldenOn February 24, 2017 (11:42 am)

    Highland Park Way doesn’t look that stable to me (see photo from Sunday Feb 19).

    Do we know if DOT plans to come back and remove the large precarious horizontal log (at least one) near the top of the slide?

    Trees are very close to the edge .  Motorists might consider using a different route on windy days.  I’m using Delridge.

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