Plans to close the final three miles of Cascade River Road to allow for major road work have been put on hold. The popular road in the North Cascades National Park Complex will remain open to all vehicle and foot traffic as long as the weather allows.
The road had been scheduled to close this week at the Eldorado parking area near milepost 20.
A closure will be necessary to allow crews to make extensive repairs to the road, which has been subject to multiple washouts over the years.
The main part of the project, installation of a 60-foot concrete box culvert with a debris rack, has been delayed until next year. The culvert is to be installed at Boston Creek, a common wash-out area. The road was washed out at this spot in 2007, 2009 and in August 2013, temporarily stranding more than 70 people. The National Park Service will be working with the Federal Highway Administration to make the repairs. Park managers are hoping the work will result in less potential for road failure in the future.
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That portion of the road will have to be closed when the work is done because heavy equipment and large dump trucks will be in use, according to a news release from the park complex.
Cascade River Road provides access to the very popular Cascade Pass, Horseshoe Basin and Sahale Arm trails, as well as being a scenic route for visitors hiking across the park to Stehekin. Boston Basin is a popular climbing area, with access to Forbidden, Sahale and Sharkfin peaks, among others.