For Immediate Release
Contact: Chuck Young, Chief Ranger; 360-569-221, ext. 3300
Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga has announced that repairs to the Westside Road, located at the southwest corner of Mount Rainier National Park, will begin on Monday, August 18. This repair work will result in the road being closed to all public access for a three week period, Monday through Friday, from August 18 through September 5, 2008. This closure is to ensure the safety of the public, as heavy equipment will be working in the area along with trucks carrying large loads of rocks and boulders. The closure applies to all public access including hiking, biking, and motor vehicles, and will extend from the beginning of the Westside Road at its intersection with the main park road, to the motor vehicle gate at Fish Creek. During the closure periods, there will not be access to the road north of Fish Creek from the main park road. The Westside Road will be open to public access on weekends beginning at 5:00 pm on Fridays through midnight on Sundays, and will also be open on Labor Day, September 1.
The Westside Road was heavily damaged during flooding that occurred at Mount Rainier on November 6, 2006. The work occurring in August will involve reconstructing the road embankment where Fish Creek has eroded it away, constructing two rock barbs (diversionary structures) in the creek to help stabilize the bank, and installing riprap and logs to protect the bank from future erosion.
Park crews will revegetate the area once repairs are made. Obtaining required environmental compliance approval for these repairs, and completion of other flood-related repairs throughout the park, has cleared the way for work to begin on the Westside Road. It is crucial that work be completed on the road prior to the start of the rainy season which occurs around September of each year.
Please note that additional work on the Westside Road is slated for September in the flood-damaged area north of the Fish Creek gate. Visitors should use caution whenever near construction zones throughout the park.