Washington state transportation officials last week began a series of meetings on how to recover or replace the highway lost in the massive March 22 mudslide in Oso that killed 36 people and left seven missing.
A milelong stretch of state Route 530, a critical highway for the timber industry and the small communities along it, is buried under tons of mud and debris.
“We’re talking about 15,000 dump truck loads of material on just the highway area,” department spokesman Travis Phelps said.
President Obama is scheduled to visit the site April 22.
“Because there’s that big personal loss out there, we need to engage the community first before we just go full bore,” he said, adding that crews must move slowly as they also are working to recover human remains.