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County crews begin removing debris at Slide Ridge along S. Lakeshore Rd.

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(Image courtesy of Chelan County Public Works)

CHELAN — Chelan County Public Works reports that a contractor for Chelan County Public Works began removing debris today, December 6, 2017, from the Slide Ridge area on South Lakeshore Road at Lake Chelan.

About 8,100 cubic yards of mud and debris needs to be removed from the area after a landslide occurred on Oct. 22. Smith Excavation of Cashmere will remove debris from an earthen-engineered drainage channel that was constructed in the slide area of Slide Ridge. The channel conveys material to a settling basin on the west side of South Lakeshore Road. The basin, which is about 8 to 10 feet deep, was filled with debris during the landslide. Material is also about 9 feet above the roadway.

Smith Excavation will be working 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the debris is removed. Motorists should expect minor delays (up to 10 minutes) in the work area, which is approximately 3 miles from the intersection with Navarre Coulee Road along South Lakeshore Road. Flaggers will be controlling traffic, with traffic down to one lane in the work area.

Homeowners in the area also should expect to see increased truck traffic as the contractor hauls the dirt and debris to properties near Cove Heights Road.

Smith Excavation was awarded a contract for the project at Tuesday’s meeting of the Chelan County Board of County Commissioners. The project will cost about $133,000.

Chelan County crews already removed about 3,600 cubic yards of liquefied material, rock and woody debris following the October landslide so the roadway could be reopened to travelers.

Slide Ridge produces frequent, violent discharges of water, soil and rock material, typically following heavy rain or runoff events. Eight landslides have occurred at Slide Ridge since 2003 for a cost to the county of more than $770,000.

The county has hired a team of experts to design a structure for this location that would mitigate the debris flows’ impact on South Lakeshore Road. The design is being paid for with money generated from the Chelan County Flood Control Zone District. Federal grant dollars also are being sought to construct such a structure.

(By Jill Fitzsimmons, Chelan County Public Works)

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