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February 18, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Road work to slow midweek visits to Mount Rainier for months

A historic motorcoach travels the road to Mount Rainier, where construction will soon cause traffic delays. (photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

A historic motorcoach travels the road to Mount Rainier, where construction will soon cause traffic delays. (photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Planning a weekday snowshoeing expedition to avoid the crowds at Narada Falls? If a midweek trip to Mount Rainier is in your plans, you might want to go soon. After that, your drive could take a half-hour longer each way.

Mount Rainier National Park officials announced Tuesday that rehabilitation of 17.6 miles of road between the Nisqually entrance and the park’s Paradise area will take place Monday through Friday beginning March 3 and continuing into early fall.

Visitors traveling to the park via Highway 706 should allow an extra hour round-trip, due to construction delays, park media specialist Patti Wold said in an email.

The project will be completed in two phases, each taking up to two years. Phase 1 includes the installation of in-road buried conduits and junction vaults, as well as improvements to the road’s substructure and drainage between the Nisqually entrance and Longmire. This year’s work will also include paving and substructure work on Ricksecker Point Loop Road and Paradise Valley Road. Phase 2 should begin in 2016 at Longmire and end at Paradise in 2017, Wold said.

The project is needed to address deteriorating road conditions that are due to many factors including abundant precipitation, structural and design deficiencies, large traffic volumes, and normal wear, Wold said. The road work is designed to protect adjacent natural and cultural resources, will replace culverts to improve aquatic conditions and will preserve the character of the National Historic Landmark District, she said.

 

 

Comments | More in highways, national parks, Northwest, Parks | Topics: mount rainier, mount rainier national park, Paradise road

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