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Maple Valley Highway blocked by mudslide in Renton – The Seattle Times

Another mudslide has blocked a busy traffic route Thursday morning, this time Maple Valley Highway approaching downtown Renton and Interstate 405.

Police tweeted just after 9 a.m. that all westbound lanes are closed, and only one eastbound lane is open for a few blocks beyond I-405.

The slide is near Carco Theatre and Classics sports bar, not far from the Cedar River. Public-works crews arrived to start clearing the area, but no reopening time has been estimated.

The highway is a major regional route serving outlying parts of Renton, northern Kent, and the fast-growing Maple Valley commute corridor.

This slide follows an earlier slide on Interstate 90 just east of Issaquah that has forced westbound traffic to detour through two-lane residential arterials.

Geotechnical inspectors are at the I-90 slide to determine whether more are likely to occur, said spokesman Travis Phelps of the Washington State Department of Transportation.

WSDOT thinks the slide at 5 a.m. was a relatively shallow “debris flow,” which Phelps compared to the frosting falling off a cupcake.

The top layer of soil became supersaturated from rain along with flowing water atop a slope, he said. It’s not a known slide area where an entire hillside has broken apart, he said.

There are no plans for a temporary slide barrier, he said.

One lane westbound is moving at I-90, while the two right lanes remain blocked.

Highland Park Way Southwest, which connects southern West Seattle to the Duwamish area and Highway 599, will remain closed Thursday, says the Seattle Department of Transportation.


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