One lane of I-5 northbound remains closed north of Woodland, after a mudslide came down across the northbound freeway yesterday afternoon. The State Patrol reports that the slide covered all three lanes of the freeway at 3:53 pm, almost exactly in the same place as previous slides that have closed the highway. There was a pickup that got knocked off of the road by the slide, but no one in that rig was hurt. Traffic slowly snaked over Green Mountain Road as the Department of Transportation responded, eventually re-opening the center and left lanes of the freeway around 9 pm. The right lane of the freeway will remain closed until further notice, after engineers can examine the slope, and determine what needs to be done to stabilize that hillside.
Freeway traffic was also slowed in two other locations in Cowlitz County, as WashDOT and the State Patrol dealt with what were originally described as “sinkholes” in the freeway. Two lanes of the southbound freeway at milepost 26 near Kalama were shut down for a short time around 6 last night, as they dealt with what’s now described as a “pothole” in the right lane. A patch was put down, and all three southbound lanes re-opened at 6:10 pm. There was a similar situation reported at milepost 51 northbound, just north of Castle Rock, first reported as a “pothole.” WSP now reports that spot is a “slight depression,” and traffic is being allowed to travel through that area. Delays are still possible in these problem areas.