Four-hour delays on Highway 101 at Lake Crescent are set to begin Monday, May 20 and scheduled for Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. These delays are anticipated to last through June 13. There will be no road work or four-hour delay on Monday, May 27 for the Memorial Day holiday.
The final projected completion date for the project is mid-August which is ahead of the original timeline. The decision to allow four-hour delays for a few weeks beyond Memorial Day will result in the project being completed sooner, with fewer impacts to the public, and achieve the best final result.
During these four-hour periods, Highway 101 eastbound from Forks will be open to the turn for Barnes Point where Lake Crescent Lodge, Storm King Information Station, NatureBridge, and the trailheads are located. Highway 101 westbound from Port Angeles will be open to East Beach Road. Travelers to and from the western side of the peninsula can use SR 112/113 as an alternate route during the delay.
Travelers should plan ahead to drive through the construction zone before 9:00 am or wait until after 1:00 pm. Outside of the four-hour delays, drivers should continue to expect the regular half-hour delays Monday through Friday during work hours. After work hours and on weekends expect possible short delays for alternating single-lane traffic controlled by temporary traffic signals at the rock wall area. For information in real-time check the WSDOT Traffic Alert website at https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/trafficalerts/.
This series of four-hour delays is needed to restore the roadway width and shoulder area in front of the rock wall near milepost 229. The original plan to restore the roadway did not require any in-water work. However, earlier this spring, gabion basket structures that retained the road prism failed and these changes in the conditions at the repair site required a change to the design approach—which consequently changed permit requirements.
The necessary permit is now in place from the US Army Corps of Engineers in order to complete the additional work needed below the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) of Lake Crescent near milepost 229. Originally, four-hour delays were to take place only before Memorial Day or after Labor Day to avoid impacting traffic during the busy summer season. Now four-hour delays will extend beyond Memorial Day so the work at the rock wall can be completed and the final paving can occur on schedule.
Remaining work includes completing the guardrail installation, sign replacement, paving the final 2-1/2″ driving surface, and striping. Guardrail installation will be completed this week. The sign crew will begin installing replacement signs next week. Paving is set to begin June 3 and last for six to eight weeks depending on weather. Once paving is finished, striping and final cleanup will conclude the three-year project. Striping is the final step that will necessitate longer than a half-hour delay in order to achieve the best result.
Drivers can find updates and maps of the project area with current project information on the park website at go.nps.gov/LCHwy101Project and the Federal Highway Administration website at https://flh.fhwa.dot.gov/projects/wa/lake-crescent/. This project is being managed collaboratively by the Federal Highway Administration and the National Park Service.
The road along Lake Crescent’s south shore was built in the early 1920s, replacing ferry passage across the lake. Today the road is part of U.S. Highway 101 and remains a vital transportation link and popular sightseeing route for visitors to the Lake Crescent area and the Olympic Peninsula. In 2015, over 420,000 vehicles traveled this road.