Road crews continue to monitor a slow-moving landslide in Fall City that has caused a crack in 356th Drive SE near State Route 202.
On Monday, King County Emergency Management asked nearby residents to voluntarily evacuate. But neighbors got good news Friday when road managers announced that the damaged stretch of 356th Dr. SE will remain open.
“We will continue to monitor the road 24 hours a day, to make sure nothing has changed,” said Rick Brater, Director of King County Road Services.
The decision follows a 3-hour investigation by outside experts to determine if the road is stable enough to keep allowing alternating traffic on one lane. While the experts determined it was safe, there are limitations. There is now a 5-ton limit on vehicles. Traffic is now controlled by a stoplight on each end.
“I’m happy. I get to go home,” said Lindy McManimin, who’s lived there her whole life. She knows the slide history of that road. “It’s been nerve-wracking, not knowing if you’re going to make it or not.”
Residents at the top of the dead end road faced being cut off entirely, and many kept their cars on the lower end of 356th so they wouldn’t be marooned at their homes.
Friday's good news didn't end there. A backup road is also being connected to existing logging roads on private property. Brater said the road could be ready by Sunday or Monday, and would be available if 356th were to fail.
King County crews plan on another 3-4 weeks of analyzing conditions on the hillside. Then it could be two more months of one-way traffic before repairs can begin.
The ultimate goal is a long-term repair.