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County hoping for big grant to fix Peter Dan Road

 

A pickup drives over the hump that passes over the landslide area on Peter Dan Road Monday. - Jacob Wagner photo

Peter Dan Road, which connects the Elmer City area to the Keller area, has a temporary passage up and over a landslide that occurred in March, and the beginning of the removal process is anticipated to start in the fall.

The dirt road over the landslide is meant for locals, with no large trucks or other such vehicles allowed. A sign near the landslide warns motorcycles to use extreme caution.

Cache Creek Road near Nespelem is another way over to Highway 21, as is the Keller Ferry route, depending on a driver's starting point and ultimate destination.

Okanogan County Public Works is going through an application process to get emergency relief funds estimated at $4.1 million from the Federal Highway Administration, said County Engineer Josh Thomson.

"My goal is to have the project starting this fall," Thomson said.

Thomson explained that an extensive geotechnical evaluation needs to be done before some 200,000 cubic yards of dirt are moved around, with the intention being to move dirt from the uphill side of the highway to the downhill side while ensuring no future landslides.

Locals who live on or near the road have expressed frustration with the landslide being there so long. "I think it's a nightmare, a deathtrap waiting to happen," said local resident Gaylene Green, who is nervous about what the winter conditions will be like.

"There's a lot to consider: ambulance runs, fires," Green said. "It's kind of a crazy thing and it's long overdue to get fixed."

The landslide originally happened in March.

Green said that the road, a fairly steep hump over the landslide, can get "awfully washboardy" but that someone comes and grades it periodically.

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