Closure expected to be long term since the road will require extensive rebuilding
VANCOUVER – Recent rain and snow has triggered a road washout on Northwest Pacific Highway northwest of La Center.
Clark County Public Works closed the road at Northwest Wellman Avenue Tuesday afternoon. Water can be seen rushing underneath a portion of the road through an opening in the asphalt.
This will be a long-term closure since the road will require extensive rebuilding before it can reopen to traffic. It may take weeks before engineers and geotechnical experts can fully assess the situation.
Drivers can reach Northwest Wellman Avenue if they approach from the south on Northwest Pacific Highway. Traffic coming from the north should use an alternate route, such as Interstate 5, or detour to the east using county roads, such as Northwest Bratton Road.
People need to stay out of the closed area and not walk around barricades because of the danger posed by the road washout.
Clark County also closed three other roads Tuesday because of water over the roadway:
Northeast J A Moore Road is closed in two places where the road crosses tributaries of the East Fork Lewis River southeast of La Center.
Northeast Delfel Road is closed between Northeast 189th Street and Northeast 199th Street along the west side of Interstate 5 north of the Clark County Fairgrounds.
Northwest Allen Canyon Road is closed from Northwest 324th Street to Northwest 51st Avenue west of La Center.
In some instances, roads closed due to flooding can quickly reopen once water recedes. In other cases, there may be a delay so engineers can assess the pavement, bridges or other features to ensure there is not a risk to public safety.
Drivers should never move or drive around a road closure sign or other temporary traffic control device. Drivers also should not attempt to drive through water. As little as 1 foot of water will cause many vehicles to float, and most vehicles will be swept away by 2 feet of rushing water.
Information courtesy of Clark Co. WA Communications.