Brinnon: Dosewallips Road will be repaired, reopened, Forest Service says

BRINNON — The U.S. Forest Service announced Tuesday that it will fix washed-out Dosewallips Road that leads to two campgrounds and several trailheads in the eastern Olympics high country.

The decision drew praise among Brinnon townsfolk, but an opposition group said it will appeal the plan.

More than 300 feet of the road was undermined by the Dosewallips River 10 miles west of U.S. Highway 101 in January 2002.

It will cost about $556,000 to construct the gravel road, Forest Supervisor Dale Hom wrote in his decision to proceed.

The Olympic National Forest road, designated Forest Road 2610, leads to the Elkhorn campground and the Olympic National Park Dosewallips campground and ranger station.

About four acres of trees will be cleared atop a hill overlooking the washout site for the new road path.

Reconstruction at the washout site was ruled out last year after Forest Service biologists deemed such action would violate the agency’s rules for development along rivers.

The new road will travel at an 8 percent to 10 percent grade in places.

Unlike a previous plan to go over the hill, the plan approved Tuesday cuts a larger swath through the forest to go along more moderate inclines, District Ranger David Craig said Tuesday.

The idea is to allow cars that traveled the old road to still be able to reach the campground, he said.

About 220 trees greater than 21 inches in diameter at the trunk would be cut, Hom said. Any trees suitable for Native American tribal use or aquatic habitat restoration would be donated for those purposes, he added.

The new road will start about one-quarter mile east of the washout and catch back up to the road just past the damage, Craig said.

The bypass around the washout will avoid an unnamed salmon creek that would have been disturbed in the previous plan.

The washed out area has grown since the river claimed the road more than two years ago. Erosion has all but eliminated a strip of earth next to the river that backcountry hikers used to cross the washout.

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