530 slide debris removal and processing

Snohomish County contractor crews will remove and process piles of material created by search and recovery (SAR) teams on private property and clear portions of the county's Whitehorse Trail. Crews will screen approximately 200,000 cubic yards of material, the majority of which is earthen material and vegetative debris. That material will remain on site to fill holes and trenches caused as a result of SAR work and leave the site with a safe, well-drained surface. Work began June 30.

View a map of the county's debris removal plan
View photos of the debris removal and processing work

Construction update
  • As of Sept. 2, all wood grinding work is complete.
  • Hydroseeding of the area is scheduled to begin the first week of September.
  • Only a few pieces of equipment remain on site to complete final grading.
  • Project is expected to wrap up early, on Sept. 12.

  • As of Aug. 20, debris removal work is complete in areas 1 through 3 (south of SR 530). Work is 90 percent complete in areas 4 and 5 (north of SR 530 including the Whitehorse Trail).
  • Construction work is currently on schedule and expected to be complete by Sept. 22.

The construction contracts
The county issued three contracts for this work: One for debris removal itself (approved by the County Council on June 11), one for spotting and archaeology work, and one for monitoring and inspection of the work. 

Debris removal

During debris removal work, crews will: 
  • Screen 200,000 cubic yards of material moved by SAR crews to look for human remains or personal belongings;
  • Redistribute screened earthen material to fill holes and search trenches, and to provide site drainage;
  • Process and place large woody debris on site, when possible; and
  • Remove unprocessed large woody debris, structural materials (siding, shingles, etc.) and hazardous waste from the site for proper disposal
  • Contract amount: $6.4 million
Spotters and archaeology crews will:
  • Work alongside equipment operators to ensure respectful recovery of personal property or human remains based on protocol set by the county medical examiner's office; and
  • Prepare personal belongings for delivery to the property reunification center where it can be recovered by family members.
  • Contract amount: $4.09 million
Crews monitoring and inspecting work on the site will:
  • Inspect all quantities of incoming site material to make sure it meets contract specifications;
  • Verify the quantity and identification for outgoing disposal loads to ensure correct destination and load volume;
  • Work with spotters/archaeologists to ensure that work can be slowed or stopped when human remains or belongings are discovered;
  • Create a safe work environment for all staff and K-9 teams on site; and
  • Maintain site records for all material removal and spotting/archaeology work.
  • Contract amount: $1.9 million
This work is eligible for FEMA debris removal grant reimbursement funds. We're working with the state's Emergency Management Division and FEMA Region 10 to maximize our grant reimbursement.