State Route 410 open again to drivers

NACHES, Wash. -- Hundreds celebrated the re-opening of a little stretch of highway that's caused a big headache.

"The neighbor called me and said the mountain gave way, I said, 'what?'" said Gary Ziegler, who lives near the landslide.

Gary was home when the landslide covered State Route 410 in October 2009.

Tons of debris shut it down and forced drivers to use nearby Nile Road. Drivers used to a 55-mile an hour speed limit had to slow down to 35.

Neighbors say drivers would fly by so fast they were afraid to get their mail.

"There's so many curves and stuff down that other road and keeping your speedometer at 35 is tough to do," Gary said.

It took more than 40,000 man-hours to remove the 90 tons of debris.
Crews finished the $9.7 million dollar project months early and a million dollars under budget.

"The county stepped forward, the Feds stepped forward, everyone came forward to make this happen. I can't emphasize enough how this was not the typical project," said Schuyler Hoss, Gov. Gregoire Regional Representative.

"Thank you to those of you who lived on the road during the time when all the travelers were going by your house," said State Representative, Charles Ross.

Larry Walker used to enjoy cruising State Route 410 before it closed.

"Good riding area and there's all sorts of good in this valley too," Larry said.

Larry drove two hours from Port Orchard to have his motorcycle be the first to cross the new stretch of highway.

Gary says Larry is one of many happy to hit the open road once again.

"Now it's gonna be a lot quicker, people go up and do their stuff, go to work quicker, don't have to worry about going 35 miles per hour," Gary said.