Rattlesnake Ridge Update: New Geologists And Lasers In Place
Despite the rain, the geologists keeping an eye on Rattlesnake Ridge say the slide danger has not increased this week.
This week, the Department of Natural Resources selected Wyllie & Norrish, Rock Engineers Inc., of Seattle as the state's promised third-party geotechnical firm.
State officials touted the company's combined 80 years of experience in specializing in rock slopes, landslides, tunnels, blasting, foundations and rock falls. The good news is that the firm has already started analyzing data and will provide a summary with their conclusions later this month.
According to officials, last week geologists began using 3-D Terrestrial LiDAR on the western slope of Rattlesnake Ridge to increase our monitoring of the landslide. Results from that monitoring are consistent with what we have been seeing with the movement of the landslide, Washington Department of Transportation said this week.
WSDOT says they are still confident that the material coming down will not impact I-82 and the highway is still safe for drivers to use. Officials were optimistic about the new monitoring system and added the new information helps them better understand the slide and its expected behavior.
Officials were careful not to be too optimistic saying they still expect large portion of the slide to come down, which "may or may not be of sufficient quantity to reach Thorp Road."
The slope is still moving at a rate of 1.6 feet per week, which will mean visual changes in the western slope but WSDOT says that doesn’t mean a change in the behavior of the landslide.