The final phase of work on the Spruce Railroad Trail at Lake Crescent is set to begin in early March and be completed by November 2020.
During this phase, the entire four-mile trail along Lake Crescent will be closed to all use for public safety due to the heavy equipment and truck traffic involved in construction.
Upcoming work will include restoring the Daley Rankin Tunnel, rockfall mitigation, retaining wall construction, and finishing the remaining trail improvements. Paving the length of the trail and the Lyre River Trailhead parking area will complete the multi-year collaborative project.
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 only be accessible by boat until this final phase is complete. 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.
“We understand visitors will miss getting out on the trail while it is under construction and we look forward to its reopening and the creation of nearly ten miles of universally accessible trail,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “This would not have been possible without the continued collaboration with Clallam County and the Federal Highway Administration.”
The $5 million contract for this final phase was recently awarded to Bruch & Bruch Construction of Port Angeles. Clallam County and Olympic National Park are jointly funding the project. The park obtained close to $1 million for this contract through the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 which provides cost-sharing funds to the National Park Service (NPS) to improve infrastructure. Clallam County is funding the remainder of the contract. 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 12’-wide universally accessible, multipurpose trail to be shared by hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, and people traveling in wheelchairs. Restoration of the 450-foot long McFee Tunnel was completed in summer 2017. Previous contracts also included bank stabilization, culvert installation, and demolition and removal of a park-owned structure to allow for construction of a new 33-car parking lot at the Lyre River Trailhead with additional parking for oversized vehicles and a horse trailer turn-around.
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 a signature piece 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, visitors should consult the park website at www.nps.gov/olym or call the recorded Road and Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131.