DATE: 8/12/08


For Immediate Release

Contact: Chuck Young, Chief Ranger; 360-569-221, ext. 3300
< /p>

Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga has announced that repairs to the
Westside Road, located at the southwest corner of Mount Rainier National
Park, will begin on Monday, August 18. This repair work will result in
the road being closed to all public access for a three week period,
Monday through Friday, from August 18 through September 5, 2008. This
closure is to ensure the safety of the public, as heavy equipment will
be working in the area along with trucks carrying large loads of rocks
and boulders. The closure applies to all public access including
hiking, biking, and motor vehicles, and will extend from the beginning
of the Westside Road at its intersection with the main park road, to the
motor vehicle gate at Fish Creek. During the closure periods, there
will not be access to the road north of Fish Creek from the main park
road. The Westside Road will be open to public access on weekends
beginning at 5:00 pm on Fridays through midnight on Sundays, and will
also be open on Labor Day, September 1.< /p>

The Westside Road was heavily damaged during flooding that occurred at
Mount Rainier on November 6, 2006. The work occurring in August will
involve reconstructing the road embankment where Fish Creek has eroded
it away, constructing two rock barbs (diversionary structures) in the
creek to help stabilize the bank, and installing riprap and logs to
protect the bank from future erosion.< /p>

Park crews will revegetate the area once repairs are made. Obtaining
required environmental compliance approval for these repairs, and
completion of other flood-related repairs throughout the park, has
cleared the way for work to begin on the Westside Road. It is crucial
that work be completed on the road prior to the start of the rainy
season which occurs around September of each year.< /p>

Please note that additional work on the Westside Road is slated for
September in the flood-damaged area north of the Fish Creek gate.
Visitors should use caution whenever near construction zones throughout
the park.< /p>

-NPS-< /p>


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