Cascade River Road fix will begin in September

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 16, 2014 

MARBLEMOUNT - Crews will close the last three miles of Cascade River Road this fall to fix an area where a washout last summer stranded about 70 hikers and climbers.

The closure will occur Sept. 8 into late October in North Cascades National Park, according to park officials. It is for vehicle and foot traffic.

Hikers - coming from the eastside and the west - and climbers who want to access Cascade Pass or Boston Basin will be affected.

Cascade Pass is the most popular hiking trail in the park. The Boston Basin route is popular with climbers.

The repair will be done in an area where heavy rain washed out the road at Boston Creek on Aug. 11, when a large culvert became plugged by downed trees and other woody debris - stranding the hikers and climbers that night and most of the next day.

Crews will install a 60-foot-long concrete "box culvert" with a debris rack to prevent the culvert at Boston Creek from plugging. A number of washouts have occurred there, mostly recently in August.

The road will be closed at the El Dorado Creek parking area near milepost 20.

It will be in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week for heavy equipment.

Preliminary surveys and erosion control work will begin in late August but won't affect visitors' access.

For alternative fall hikes, climbs or access to Stehekin using another route, call the Wilderness Information Center at 360-854-7245, the Golden West Visitor Center at 509-699-2080, ext. 14, or any park ranger station.

Money for the road fix, which has been put out to bid, will come from the Federal Highway Administration.

Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com .

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