Drivers forced to detour as state makes bridge repairs

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Workers are hoping to finish emergency repairs to the Kummer Bridge before the busy Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Washington State Department of Transportation contractors will began the repair work a day earlier than planned in an effort to get in, get the job done and get out before the heavy traffic hits.

Crews closed state Route 169 at Roberts Drive in Black Diamond and Southeast 400th Street north of Enumclaw at 5 a.m. Sunday. The road will remain closed to all vehicles through 10 p.m. Thursday.

All vehicles must take the signed detour.

Significant movement in a landslide at the south end of the bridge - which spans the Green River - prompted DOT geotechnical engineers to order the bridge closed last week. Crews drilled core samples to assess the stability of the entire roadbed and DOT experts determined the weakness was limited to the soil under the northbound lane They figured the problem could be temporarily fixed using specialized slope-stabilizing nails and traffic was limited to the southbound lane last week as the DOT worked to develop the emergency repair plan.

Sunday, crews working for DBM Contractors closed the road to put a 30-ton crane and other equipment in place. The crane and an attached drill rig will help drive in 34 specialized stability nails at a rate of one nail per hour. Crews working during daylight hours plan to finish the soil nail installation by 10 p.m. Thursday but, if the work is not complete, the road will reopen to one lane alternating in each direction through Sunday and work will resume Monday.

Once the work is complete, crews will open both northbound and southbound lanes to all vehicles with the exception of overweight and overwidth vehicles.

Detour routes

During the full bridge closure, all vehicles must use the signed detour which adds four miles to the trip and takes between five and 10 minutes.

Northbound drivers will travel west on Southeast 400th Street to 236th Avenue Southeast. Drivers will go right at 218th Place Southeast to connect to Auburn-Black Diamond Road, which reconnects with SR 169.

Southbound drivers will take Auburn-Black Diamond Road (Roberts Drive)) to 218th Place Southeast. This road turns into 212th Avenue Southeast. Drivers will turn left at Southeast 400th Street to reconnect to SR 169.

Local traffic may access the area inside the closure points, but may not use the bridge.

Long-term plans

While this week's repair stabilizes the road under the northbound lanes, it does not solve the bigger problem of the landslide movement. WSDOT engineers are working on a plan to build a retaining wall parallel to the bridge to slow the landslide.

This work could begin as early as September and must be completed by mid-November due to heavy fall rains.

Engineers have not developed a firm price tag for the emergency work.

Drivers can find more information at

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