Rockfall prevention on SR-730 could be coming  

By on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

WALLA WALLA – The Walla Walla County Board of Commissioners meet today (Tuesday) at 9 a.m. and is scheduled to execute a letter to the U.S. Department of Interior requesting a permanent easement or right of way for a portion of State Route 730. This will allow the Washington State Department of Transportation to perform rockfall prevention about two miles west of Wallula Junction.

In the area between milepost 2.94 and 3.09, WSDOT wants to install a series of rockfall fencing. In the area between milepost 3.09 and 3.14, WSDOT plans to perform rock stabilization with scaling, installing rock dowels, and installing cable net slope protection. The slope has experienced many rockfall events, the last one in January, which resulted in an emergency project to remove debris from the road and conduct rock fall scaling of the slope.

Pursuant to the deed to the county from the U.S. Department of Interior, the county must maintain the property for recreational purposes, however, WSDOT asked the county last month to begin discussions and ultimately request permission from the U.S. Department of Interior for the state to purchase the necessary portions of a parcel, approximately a third of an acre in size, to perform the rockfall prevention work.

WSDOT will be presenting a formal offer to purchase the necessary property once the final design is approved, and the deed restriction is resolved to WSDOT’s satisfaction.Photo via Google Maps