7 Weeks After Massive Landslide, Washington Highway Set To Reopen

May 5, 2017

Drivers in southwest Washington could see some relief on their commute home.

After nearly seven weeks, a stretch of state Route 503 about 20 miles east of Woodland is set to reopen in a couple days. A massive landslide recently shut down all traffic and the highway has remained closed since March 13.

The Washington State Department of Transportation says a series of blasts has stabilized the 20-million-pound rock slab that came loose from the hillside along the highway.

“It’s certainly impacted this community and we’re really happy that we can get some travel returning on the highway and give some relief to that community,” said WSDOT spokeswoman Tamara Greenwell.

Local residents have spent the past couple of months taking detour routes to avoid the highway.

Traffic in both directions will alternate using the open single lane. Transportation crews are working on longer term stabilization plans before opening all lanes.

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