Chuckanut Drive will be closed – again – this time through the weekend, after another rock slide along the highway, the state Department of Transportation said.
The slide, which happened about 7 p.m. Thursday, was the second in as many days just north of the intersection of Pacific Rim Drive, and occurred less than two hours after crews had cleared the first. The second slide came from higher up the slope, but followed the same path as the first, said Marqise Allen, a transportation department spokesman.
Crews worked for nearly two days to clear the first slide, which left boulders and smaller rocks strewn across the road, uprooted a tree, and busted out a concrete barrier on the other side of the highway. The second slide also left a large boulder and a tree blocking the roadway.
Though workers determined the slope was stable Friday morning, waiting through the weekend would ensure the hillside settles before crews clear the road again. The transportation department expects to reopen the road sometime Monday.
“Since it happened in the same area, we’re giving it a couple days to see what happens with the slope for safety’s sake,” Allen said.
The transportation department is again recommending drivers divert to Interstate 5 to get around the blockage. Northbound drivers can turn east onto Colony Road and follow it to Lake Samish Road to access northbound Interstate 5, then take Old Fairhaven Parkway at exit 250 to 12th Street to return to Chuckanut Drive.
About 2,300 vehicles travel that stretch of Chuckanut every day, Allen said.