City approves first phase of repairs to Lacamas Lane landslide area

Council approves contract for engineering work

Work to investigate potential repair options and cost estimates to fix damage that resulted from a landslide along Lacamas Lane is underway.

The Camas City Council recently approved a contract not to exceed $136,896 with Vancouver-based engineering firm Harper Houf Peterson Righellis Inc.

“That would include geo-technical work, surveying, permitting — some of those tasks that would be required to really go through and develop alternatives to repair the slide,” explained Camas Public Works Director Steve Wall during the April 4 City Council workshop.

It is the first step of the city’s three-phase approach to repair the steep slope failure that occurred as a result of heavy rainfall in early December 2015. Phases two and three include design and construction work.

“The area was mapped as ancient landslide terrain and the slope that failed appeared to be intact material,” states the project’s scope of work details. “During the recent record rainfalls and flooding, the ancient slide appears to have reactivated.”

Lacamas Lane between Northwest 44th Avenue and Lake Road was closed for a period of time in December and January, but reopened in early February as plans for its repair began.

Federal Emergency Management Agency dollars will pay for 75 percent of the cost, while the city will contribute the remaining 25 percent through its storm water utility fund.

“However, we are hopeful in hearing some good news along the way that the [Washington State Office of Emergency Management] will potentially pick up a piece of that 25 percent,” Wall said. “We don’t know how much yet, but they are discussing that. There is a chance they will take some of that off of our hands.”

That same bout of intense rain forced the emergency closure of Forest Home Road when two slides, one 180 feet and the other 50 feet long, undercut the street. It has not re-opened since, and will remain closed until repairs are complete.

In March, the Camas City Council approved a $95,483 professional services contract with HDJ Design Group for environmental documentation, permitting and design for the Forest Home Road project.

A significant portion of the money needed to complete the work will come from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. The federal emergency relief funds will support 86.5 percent of the cost. The city’s share will be 13.5 percent.

The city’s proposed spring omnibus capital budget, which is scheduled for a public hearing and ordinance consideration on Monday, May 2, includes a package with the preliminary estimated total cost for repairs to both landslides at $3 million — $1.5 million for each project.

City officials are aiming to have the construction phase of repairs to both slide areas completed this summer.