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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, November 20, 2014
Contact:
Steve Johnson, Public Works Dept. at (360) 867-2332 or JohnsoS@co.thurston.wa.us

Prather Road Re-opens Nov. 21
Road damaged in Feb. mudslide will re-open to all traffic by noon Friday

The section of Prather Road SW that was heavily damaged after a mudslide in February will re-open to traffic by noon on Friday, November 21.

"The February mudslide in that area caused some pretty extensive damage. We had to replace the stream culvert at the bottom of the ravine along with the reconstruction of the road, so this was no small task," said Prather Road project manager Steve Johnson, a civil engineer with the county's Public Works Department. "The local residents have been very patient throughout this process, and we really appreciate that. I think everyone involved is really happy that this day has come."

A section of Prather Road SW near Grunenfelder Road SW was closed on February 18 after heavy rains caused a steep hillside under Prather Road to give way. Water, mud and debris slid down the hill, clogging the culvert and stream below and destabilizing the roadbed above.

The Thurston County Board of County Commissioners approved an emergency declaration on March 4 that allowed the county's Public Works Department to fast-track funding from the Rural Arterial Program and quickly issue the contracts needed to clean up the mudslide and repair Prather Road.

As storm season once again rolls into Western Washington, staff from the Thurston County Public Works Department remind drivers to stay safe and use caution during bad weather:
  • In bad weather, stay off the road if you can. The best way to avoid snow, ice and flooding is to stay off the road. But if you must drive, take it slow, increase your following distance, and make sure the county's trucks and equipment can get through in your neighborhood.

  • Remember your car emergency kit. Keep an emergency kit in your car that includes bottled water and high energy, non-perishable food, an extra blanket, warm clothes, a battery-powered flashlight and extra batteries.

  • Don't drive on flooded roads. As little as 18 inches of water can float a small car.

  • Don't drive around road barriers. The road or bridge may be washed out.

  • Anti-icing solution and sanding won't clear every spot. Once temperatures dip below the mid-20s, anti-icing solution won't stop moisture in the air or on the ground from freezing on the surface, and snow and freezing rain can begin to accumulate, even on treated roadways.

For more information about the county's winter road maintenance and how to contact the Public Works Department to report road hazards, go to www.co.thurston.wa.us/publicworks and click on the "Emergency & Weather Info" link. Follow Thurston County Public Works on Twitter at @Thurston_PW.



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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3