The Department of Transportation hopes to have SR 821 open by late Thursday.

Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews from Ellensburg and Selah are working from opposite ends of the rockslides to reopen SR 821 by late afternoon on Thursday.

A torrential rainstorm struck at about 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, about six miles south of Ellensburg that caused rockslides that completely covered SR 821 in two locations, about a quarter mile apart. WSDOT crews closed SR 821 to through traffic at 9 p.m. Tuesday.


What it takes to reopen the highway:

  • Close the highway to through traffic – 9 p.m., July 17
  • Mobilize crews and equipment – early morning, July 18
  • Clear one lane to allow emergency vehicles through if necessary – 10:30 a.m., July 18
  • Clear entire roadway of debris
  • Clear culverts to allow drainage
  • Check stability of roadway and shoulder pavement
  • Open two lanes of traffic, back to normal – Estimate – late Thursday afternoon


Drivers can stay informed of traffic impacts by visiting WSDOT’s travel alerts and construction update web pages.