After Memorial Day, bicycle and pedestrian traffic will not be permitted on the first five miles of Hurricane Ridge Road from the intersection with Mount Angeles Road to the Heart O’ the Hills entrance station during weekday work hours.
Bicyclists and pedestrians who want to travel Hurricane Ridge Road are encouraged to drive to the Heart O’ the Hills campground picnic area to start their trip and avoid the work zone.
“Visitor safety during road construction is of utmost importance,” said Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “We had hoped to have bicycle and pedestrian access during the construction, but the risks are too great to allow it this summer.”
Heavy machinery with limited visibility, uneven and unpaved road surfaces, loose gravel, one-lane sections of road, pilot car zones, and lack of guardrails all pose risks during the upcoming construction season. These, combined with the road’s typical mountain characteristics (steep grade, curves, and limited sight distance) have led to the decision to restrict bicyclists from using the lower five-mile section of road during the construction project.
Sunday, August 5 is the annual Ride the Hurricane cycling event organized by the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce. The contractor’s work schedule is aimed at completing the necessary work to have the road ready in time for this event. However, after the event the contractor will need to complete additional paving. The park will reopen the road to bicycle and pedestrian traffic on weekdays as soon as possible in late August.
The five-month project to rehabilitate the first five miles of Hurricane Ridge Road from the intersection with Mount Angeles Road to the Heart O’ the Hills entrance station began in mid-April. The road work includes utility work, pavement rehabilitation, culvert installation, guardrail installation, and paving. Drivers should expect delays of up to 20 minutes in both directions during weekday work hours. Flaggers and pilot cars guide drivers through the active construction areas and temporary traffic signs and devices will be installed for weekend and evening travel as needed.
The $6.9 million road rehabilitation project is a partnership between the National Park Service, the Federal Highway Administration and Washington State contractor Columbia Pacific Construction, Inc. of Woodland.
For more information about visiting Olympic National Park, please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/olym or call the recorded Road & Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131 for daily updates.