This week work crews will be removing loose rock and debris to develop a plan to anchor the hillside along State Route 542 where erosion is causing the road to crumble.
SR 542, or Mt. Baker Highway, is the only road to Artist Point and is currently closed to vehicles beyond the Terminal Lake parking lot. Pedestrians and bikers can still access the trailhead leading to Artist Point.
The final stretch of SR 542 closed last October ahead of snowfall due to hillside erosion. Crews began stabilization work Monday, July 26, according to Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
Down the mountain, on SR 9, crews are replacing the Landingstrip fish passage culvert. This will cause a full 96-hour closure of the road between Maleng and Rothenbuhler with a 68-mile detour in place that began Monday.
The detour will direct travelers to SR 9, SR 20, Interstate 5 and SR 542. According to WSDOT, it’s especially important for truck drivers to follow the detour, as there’s no place to turn around. Vehicles that don’t follow these signs will be forced to back-up.
The closure allows crews to excavate the existing roadway, remove the existing culvert, install the new culvert and rebuild the roadway, according to WSDOT.
At least one lane of SR 9 is expected to reopen to traffic Friday.