Closure of Highland Road Angers Residents

[VIDEO] Residents are angry about the scheduled closure of Highland Road for a culvert replacement.

Mason County Public Works is scheduled to close Highland Road about a mile and a half south of Shelton Matlock Road on Monday, July 8th. During the closure, crews will replace the failed culvert at milepost 1.47. The resolution closing the road says the roadway will reopen on September 6th while a flyer on the road closure says the road “will reopen to traffic around August 16th, but may be delayed due to weather conditions or construction delays.”

Those who live in the area and usually travel north on Highland Road to Shelton Matlock Road to reach Shelton or U.S. Highway 101 (a trip that takes 10 to 15 minutes) will have to travel south on Highland to Cloquallum Road, go about 14 miles to reach the Shelton City Limits and then take a series of City streets to reach the same destinations (including Highway 3 to reach 101) adding 20 to 30 minutes to travel times.

Click here to see the video of the drive from the culvert to Shelton via Cloquallum Road.

Residents attended Tuesday’s Mason County Commission meeting to voice their displeasure with the closure but were also upset about the lack of community input and notification on the closure, and that the County has not provided an emergency route for the area during the closure.

The County officials apologized for their handling of the situation while announcing the awarding of the construction contract for the culvert replacement.

Matthew Welander, Chief of West Mason Fire, said they have identified emergency routes through Green Diamond and other forestland.

An Emergency Services/Evacuation route has been identified for the residents who live near the Highland Road closure during the culvert replacement project. If an evacuation becomes necessary there will be road signage to follow.

At this time, the closure is set to begin on Monday but one resident told MasonWebTV Powered by HCC, he plans to file an injunction to stop the closure.

Construction equipment has already been staged in the area and Mason PUD 3 crews have removed the power lines that cross the construction area.