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Posted on: December 20, 2023

Public Works Mobilizes Response to Stabilize MacKaye Harbor Rd on Lopez Island

Public Works News

SAN JUAN COUNTY, WA. December 20, 2023 – San Juan County’s Public Works Department is mobilizing a response to protect the traveling public and maintain access to homes threatened by coastal erosion near MacKaye Harbor Road on Lopez Island. The department will perform repairs on Thursday, December 21 to prevent the road from collapsing. 


This week, County officials inspected deteriorating conditions along MacKaye Harbor Rd between Agate Beach Ln and Flint Rd, near mile post 1.7. About a quarter mile of MacKaye Harbor Rd continues to be threatened by coastal erosion. 

MacKaye Harbor Rd erosionThe County conducted an alternatives analysis in 2017 that identified inland relocation of the road as the preferred response to continued erosion.  Since then, the County has been working on strategic shoreline adaptation plans to determine how to relocate the road and abate the need to re-construct shoreline armoring. Continued coastal erosion now necessitates immediate armoring.  

About the Project 

Public Works will reconstruct the failed rock slope by adding new rock along the shoreline. The repair is limited in scope to the area of imminent threat and allows the County to keep the road open with only intermittent and temporary closures of the road. This is not a permanent repair, and the site will need to be monitored while other remediation efforts continue to be developed.

“Over the past five years, we’ve worked to mitigate risks along this stretch of road,” said Public Works Director Colin Huntemer. “We’ve installed temporary traffic control barricades to reduce traffic, but now, deferment is no longer viable. We are moving quickly to protect the roadway in its existing location.”

The public may use the road after stabilization efforts are completed this week. Drivers are asked to drive slowly in the construction site, obey traffic signs and flaggers, and exercise patience during times of delay. Public Works will continue to monitor the road closely and inform the public of any updates.


Colin Huntemer, Public Works Director,


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