Washington State Department of Transportation

02/23/2024 | Press release | Archived content

Eastbound I-82 near Wapato reopens Saturday, March 2 after embankment failure repairs

WAPATO - Eastbound Interstate 82 near Wapato opened to traffic at noon, Saturday, March 2, as repairs were completed on an embankment that failed two weeks ago. Westbound I-82 reopened Saturday, Feb. 24.

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 and as safely as possible, WSDOT and the Roza Irrigation District developed a preliminary repair plan. WSDOT selected Interstate Concrete & Asphalt in Yakima to do the repair work.

Over the past two weeks, crews have worked around the clock to remove the damaged culverts, built a temporary drainage system using coarse rock to accommodate any residual ground water, backfilled the temporary drain, and rebuilt and paved the westbound and eastbound lanes.

The permanent fix to install new culverts under I-82 is underway and construction is expected to start within the next several months.

Real-time travel information is available from the WSDOT mobile app, the WSDOT Travel Center Map or by signing up for WSDOT's email updates.