OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — The final phase of work on the Spruce Railroad Trail at Lake Crescent is set to begin Monday and extend throughout the summer and into the fall.
The entire 4-mile trail along Lake Crescent will be closed to all use because of the heavy equipment that will be in operation, said Penny Wagner, Olympic National Park spokesperson, in a press release.
The work will include restoring the Daley Rankin Tunnel, completing the final two miles of trail improvements, rockfall mitigation, retaining wall construction and paving the length of the trail and the Lyre River Trailhead parking area.
The $5 million contract for this phase was awarded to Bruch & Bruch Construction of Port Angeles. Federal Highway Administration staff provide construction management and general contract oversight.
The Spruce Railroad Trail improvements are part of a multi-year collaborative project to establish the entire 10-mile length of the trail as a universally accessible, multipurpose trail to be shared by hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, and people traveling in wheelchairs. The paved portion of the trail will be eight feet wide with a gravel shoulder.
During construction, East Beach Road will be closed to the public at the intersection with Joyce-Piedmont Road. Camp David Jr. Road will be closed to the public beyond the North Shore Picnic Area.
Devil’s Punchbowl will be accessible only by boat. The westbound portion of the Olympic Discovery Trail and Pyramid Peak Trail will remain accessible from the North Shore Picnic Area on Camp David Jr. Road.
Clallam County and Olympic National Park are jointly funding the project. The park obtained nearly $1 million for this contract through the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013.
Clallam County pulled together a combination of funding, including a grant of about $2 million from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board under the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, a $100,000 federal Transportation Alternatives Program grant, $858,000 of federal Surface Transportation Program funding, $750,000 of county funding and $50,000 from the Peninsula Trails Coalition.
The Spruce Railroad Trail follows the historic railroad grade of the Spruce Railroad, built in 1918 and abandoned in 1951. When the project is completed in fall 2020 it will become part of the 134-mile long Olympic Discovery Trail that will eventually connect Port Townsend to La Push—Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean.
For current trail, road and travel information, see www.nps.gov/olym or call the recorded Road and Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131.