Beginning Tuesday, September 6, 2016 Mount Rainier National Park will begin a three-week paving project in the Paradise area parking lots. Parking will be significantly limited throughout the project in both the upper parking lot near the Jackson Visitor Center and the Paradise Inn, and in the lower parking lot.
Visitors who will be parking overnight in the Paradise area between September 5 and September 23 should park either along the Paradise Valley Road or in the Paradise Picnic Area.
“While we realize that park visitors could be impacted by the paving project, September provides the contractor with a small window of time when visitation drops off and when temperatures and moisture levels are still suitable for paving,” said Randy King, Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent.
The paving project will occur in phases. For the week of September 6 – 9, work will occur Tuesday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Half of the spaces in the upper parking lot near the Paradise Inn and half of the lower parking lot will be unavailable for parking as workers mill the asphalt and repair damaged areas. Flaggers will direct vehicles needing access to the Paradise Inn. The closed area will be signed and cars parked in the closed area will be ticketed and towed.
For the week of September 11 – 16, work will occur Monday through Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. This week work shifts to the other half of the upper and lower parking lots where workers will continue to mill the asphalt and repair damaged areas. Flaggers will direct vehicles needing access to the Paradise Inn and the Jackson Visitor Center. The area that was closed the first week will be open for parking, but the parking lot surface will be gravel and without parking stripe lines.
It is anticipated that the entire lot will be paved the week of September 19 – 23. Sections of the parking lots will be closed as paving progresses. The project is scheduled to be completed on September 23, but the schedule is subject to change based on weather and worksite conditions.
The paving project is one part of a four-year project to repair and pave the park road between the Nisqually Entrance and Paradise. Each year thousands of vehicles, cycles of freezing and thawing, and falling trees take their toll on the road. Improvements to the road will preserve its integrity as a popular and historic drive and will provide safe access for years to come.