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The state Department of Transportation is planning a project for summer 2019 to stabilize a section of Highway 530 in south Skagit County where the Sauk River is eroding its bank.

The affected area is about 6 miles north of Darrington, between mileposts 55.68 and 55.91, according to project documents. It is near where the Suiattle and Sauk rivers meet.

The project will include building a protective wall of rock, logs, plant material and soil at an angle. Above the wall, the roadside will be planted with trees and shrubs to add stability.

The road is eroding, including parts of its foundation and structures installed in 2007 to help protect the bank, according to project documents.

The Department of Transportation has designated the project area as a Chronic Environmental Deficiency site because of ongoing erosion and the need for repeated emergency maintenance.

Bank erosion has threatened the highway in that area since 2006 when a large flood shifted the Sauk River, and the river bank eroded to within 20 feet of the highway.

Following the installation of protective rock and log structures in 2007, erosion continued in 2009 and 2011.

The proposed project is intended to be a long-term fix.

The Department of Transportation proposes doing the work between mid-July and mid-August in order to minimize impacts to fish in the river, according to project documents. The state agency plans to work on the project around the clock to finish it in the shortest amount of time possible.

The state Department of Ecology, which is responsible for ensuring activities done within water meet Clean Water Act requirements, is accepting comment on the project.

Comments will be accepted through Jan. 3 online and by mail to: Dept. of Ecology – SEA Program, Attn: Federal Permit Coordinator, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, 98504.

— Reporter Kimberly Cauvel: 360-416-2199, kcauvel@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter: @Kimberly_SVH, Facebook.com/bykimberlycauvel

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