SR 7 through Alder Gorge re-opens, relieving traffic in Eatonville

Editor’s Note: 

The Mountain News received the following press release from the WA DOT heralding the re-opening of Mountain Highway south of Eatonville, thus relieving much of the Mount Rainier-bound traffic that had been diverted through downtown Eatonville.

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SR 7 through Alder Canyon reopens six weeks early

 LA GRANDE – Motorists in south Pierce County will be pleased to hear that a months-long highway closure is coming to an end six weeks earlier than scheduled. As of 7 p.m. today, a five-mile section of State Route 7 near LaGrande has permanently reopened to traffic. The road had been closed since early July while crews built a wall to stabilize a hillside prone to landslides along Alder Canyon, and it had been scheduled to stay closed through late November. 

 Among other work, the retaining wall involved installing 30 support piles up to 12 feet deep into the soil. That work was completed faster than scheduled and is credited with the early opening. Crews took advantage of today’s dry weather to complete weather-sensitive work and re-stripe the highway.  

 The original 50 mile-per-hour speed limit has been reinstated.  WSDOT would like to thank motorists, businesses and residents directly affected by the closure and those along the detour route for their patience and tolerance while this work was under way.

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