On the coast, when you dig a hole you never know what you’ll find at the bottom of it. And ODOT says they got caught in that big unknown.
ODOT reports that the Highway 101 Nelscott widening and signal light project hit a snag when ODOT found out that their new culvert and fill material at the location was sinking farther and farther downward. Currently, 8″ lower than when installed – and still sinking.
ODOT spokesman Rick Little said the cause is not only soft ground but also the weight of the material bearing down on the culvert and fill material. So they’re going to dig it all out and replace it with a just-as-strong but lighter material that won’t cause any further subsidence. At least that’s the plan. Little says they’ve used what’s called “cellular concrete” under similar situations around the state and the stuff works great.
But the net effect is that there will be a delay in getting the 32nd Street light installed and operating. There will also be a closure of SW 32nd to rebuild 120 feet of road and the concrete rail that goes with it. The retaining wall and the culvert there, Little says, will remain intact.
Detours for 32nd street while this extended work is completed will be 29th and 35th off 101.