U.S. 12

The U.S. 12 Phase 7 project in the Touchet and Lowden area waits for drivers on Wednesday, May 23.

Work along the new stretch of U.S. 12 north of Lowden and Touchet came to a grinding halt hours before the road was set to reopen Friday.

Atkinson Construction project manager Jeremy Peutz said the asphalt grinder, used to prepare the roadway for lane marking, blew an engine Friday afternoon.

“Everything else was done. Everything was right there,” he said.

Peutz estimated the breakdown would delay the road’s opening until Thursday, June 1.

“It’s not much work, we’ve just got to get the engine fixed, get it out there and then it’s done,” he said.

The delay will be affected by the construction schedule coming off a holiday weekend, he said.

The 11-mile stretch of road is the second to last piece of a lane-widening project intended to improve safety, road congestion and freight mobility along the Walla Walla corridor of U.S. 12.

Kate Smith can be reached at katesmith@wwub.com or 509-577-7709. 

Kate Smith is the government reporter for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin. She is passionate about connecting people to policy in storytelling that is thorough, fair and compassionate. She follows local elections, budgets, policy decisions and more affecting residents throughout the Walla Walla Valley, southeast Washington and northeast Oregon. She previously reported on city government, health, housing and more in Yakima. 

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