People planning to recreate in the Chinook Pass area, or travel through the area en route to the state’s east side, should be aware of a major project that will lead to lengthy delays. Scheduled to begin July 21, the Washington State Department of Transportation will temporarily close state Route 410 to remove loose rock on the slopes along a mile stretch east of the pass.
Drivers can expect delays of 2-4 hours from 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 6 a.m.-noon on Fridays. The work is expected to be completed in October.
The project will impact people wanting to camp in U.S. Forest Service campgrounds east of the pass, hikers who want to hit the trail on the east side of the Wenatchee National Forest, people headed to the Bumping Lake area and anglers looking to wet a line in the American River.
Drivers will need to plan ahead, be prepared to wait in traffic at the closure points or consider driving an alternate route, spokeswoman Summer Derrey said.
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Drivers headed for Naches or Yakima can continue south on state Route 123 along the east side of Mount Rainier National Park and then head east along U.S. Highway 12.
“The delays are quite lengthy, but it’s so we can get this work done to protect the public’s safety,” she said. “We have some rocks up there that have gotten loose and we have to knock those down.”
Derrey said the work should not require blasting.
The project cost is estimated at $3.31 million.
To minimize the impact on their trip, drivers may want to travel before 6 a.m. or after 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursday, after 12:30 p.m. Fridays or any time on weekends.
“If people want to go up and have dinner at a restaurant in the hills, they should be fine. People who want to go to the Tipsoo Lake area will be fine,” Derrey said.
To ease some of the delay, the department has planned some short periods when the road will be open:
10-10:30 a.m. Mondays-Fridays: Drivers should plan to depart from Enumclaw or Naches by 9 a.m. to reduce wait times
Noon-12:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays: Depart from Enumclaw or Naches by 11 a.m.
2-2:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays: Depart from either location by 1 p.m.