County close to selecting contractor for Timber Road landslide project

Construction may soon begin on a major project aimed at reopening Timber Road, closed on the Highway 6 side since March 6, 2023 due to a slow-moving landslide crumbling the hillside under the road.

Bidding on the $4.5 – $6 million dollar Timber Road Slide Stabilization Project closes Wednesday, July 10 at 2 p.m., and a contractor is expected to be picked by Friday.

Construction is expected to begin this summer, a Washington County Land Use and Transportation website for the project said. That site lists a 2023 cost estimate for the project at $3 – $5 million, but records obtained by this newspaper put the estimate at $4.5 – $6 million.

The company selected to complete the project will be required to do the following, according to the county:

  • Install, maintain, and remove temporary traffic control and erosion control measures.
  • Perform all removal of culverts, structures, and obstructions.
  • Install 12″ and 18″ stormwater pipes and inlets.
  • Install subsurface drain line.
  • Construct stone embankment.
  • Construct MSE granular backfill with geogrid.
  • Construct roadway improvements including aggregate base and ACP asphalt.
  • Install guardrail.
  • Install permanent striping.
  • Perform additional and Incidental Work as called for by the Specifications and Plans.

As part of the planning process to prepare for the project, the county contracted Cornforth Consultants to survey the landslide area and prepare a geotechnical design report.

Using drones, drills, an electrical resistivity meter to shoot electricity into the earth and boots on the ground, contracted crews mapped the landslide, looked into the earth, and prepared a 121 page report packed with data that will inform construction.

The project is expected to be largely completed by the end of 2024.

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Gales Creek Journal and sister news publications the Banks Post and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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