Repairs to washed-out Freeman road to take months

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by SHAWN CHITNIS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on March 8, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Updated Saturday, Mar 8 at 11:12 AM

FREEMAN, Wash -- Work to fix a badly damaged section of Jackson Road would not start immediately.  Permits were needed from several agencies before work could begin.

Flooding south of Spokane Thursday took out an eight-foot culvert and part of Jackson road above it.

WATCH: Road partially washed out near Freeman

"The volume of water coming down that canyon was more than the culvert could take and ended up washing out a portion of the culvert and a portion of the roadway," said Spokane County Engineer Robert Brueggeman.

Crews were forced to close a large stretch of the road.

This was a spot the county knew would need work, but engineers were surprised by what happened Thursday.

"This culvert was identified as a future replacement project,” said Brueggeman.  “It was showing some rust damage and some fatigue but [we] did not expect a catastrophic failure."

One of the biggest challenges facing repair plans was obtaining necessary permits to move forward, particularly concerning the fish in the stream flowing under Jackson Rd.

"We need to wait until the water is as low as possible in the flow,” Brueggeman said.

Weather was also expected to be an issue.  The rain would have to stop and the concrete needed to dry before workers could remove and replace the culvert, then fix the road.

Meanwhile, school district officials said school buses would have to be re-routed for months until crews fixed the damage.

Members of the Spokane County Engineering Department said they hoped to have the road repaired and re-opened before fall.

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