Cascade River Road fix will begin Aug. 23

Drivers might be delayed for up 20 minutes on Cascade River Road from Aug. 23 to Sept. 7 as construction starts on the last three miles of the road to fix an area where a washout stranded about 70 hikers and climbers two summers ago.

Crews will then close the road to vehicle and foot traffic at the Eldorado parking area near milepost 20 from Sept. 8 through late October in North Cascades National Park for the project, according to park officials.

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

Eldorado Peak and other peaks accessed via Eldorado Creek will not be affected.

Crews will use heavy equipment and large dump trucks for the project.

The project was supposed to occur last year but was put on hold.

The repair will be done in an area where heavy rain washed out the road at Boston Creek on Aug. 11, 2013, 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, including in 2009.

Cascade River Road provides access to the popular Cascade Pass, Horseshoe Basin and Sahale Arm trails, as well as a scenic route for visitors hiking across the park to Stehekin, parks officials said.

Boston Basin is a popular climbing area, with access to Forbidden, Sahale and Sharkfin peaks, among others.

Money for the road fix is coming from the Federal Highway Administration.

For alternative fall hikes, climbs or access to Stehekin using another route, call the Wilderness Information Center at 360-854-7245 daily through Oct. 11.

Stay updated by going to the park’s website at nps.gov/noca or its Facebook page or follow on Twitter @NCascadesNPS.

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