UPDATE: Westbound I-82 near Wapato is open after embankment failure repairs

By on Friday, February 23rd, 2024 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

WAPATO – (News release from Washington State Department of Transportation) Westbound Interstate 82 near Wapato opened to traffic on Saturday, Feb. 24. Travelers on westbound I-82 will experience minor delays for a single-lane closure to allow construction equipment to access the work zone. Eastbound I-82 repairs will take a bit longer and that section is tentatively scheduled to reopen Friday, March 1. The eastbound I-82 detour is still in place following I-82 at exit 37A onto US 97 to SR 22 and SR 223 near Granger and back to I-82.

The embankment failure was discovered Monday, Feb. 12, closing the eastbound lanes of the roadway. Washington State Department of Transportation inspections determined the damage was caused by a large, aging culvert under the highway that partially collapsed due to severe corrosion.

Crews began excavating the culverts on Thursday, Feb. 15. During the process, more damage occurred to the culvert under eastbound I-82, which started affecting the shoulder as well as the left lane of the westbound lanes. To ensure the safety of travelers, both westbound lanes were closed as well.

To reopen the road as quickly as safely possible, WSDOT and the Roza Irrigation District developed a preliminary replacement. To date, contractor crews have removed the damaged culverts and built a temporary drainage system using coarse rock to accommodate any residual ground water.

Travelers should allow extra time and plan for delays while work to repair the area is underway. WSDOT appreciates and thanks travelers for their patience during this expedited repair work.

Photo via WSDOT