Hot Springs Road to reopen today

Olympic Hot Springs Road, which leads to the Elwha Valley of Olympic National Park, will re-open to public access today, Wednesday, June 29.

The road has been closed at the park boundary since May 31 so that contractors could complete road repairs in the vicinity of Fisherman?s Corner, located about one mile south of the park boundary. Repairs included the placement of bank protection, as well as replacement of failed road base material and asphalt along a 2,000-foot section of the road.

Barnard Construction, Inc., is the contractor and the road repair was performed as a modification to the $26.9 million dam removal contract awarded to Barnard last August. All work at Fisherman?s Corner was subcontracted to Bruch & Bruch, Inc. and Lakeside Industries, both of Port Angeles.

In addition to providing visitor access to the Elwha Valley, Olympic Hot Springs Road will be the primary access route for the contractor during removal of the Glines Canyon Dam, scheduled to begin in September as part of the Elwha River restoration.

Engineers from the Federal Highways Administration continue design and planning for repair work along Whiskey Bend Road. The 4.5-mile dirt road that leads to the Elwha Valley trailhead has been closed to motorized access since December 2010 due to slide damage sustained during heavy rains.

In addition, an assessment by road engineers revealed large voids under the road that have severely compromised the road?s stability and safety. Timing details for work on Whiskey Bend Road will be released as soon as they become available.

Whiskey Bend Road remains open at this time to pedestrians, bicyclists and stock users, who should use extra caution when crossing the damaged areas.

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