Editor's Note: The following is a press release issued by Mount Rainier National Park Friday.
Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Randy King announces a temporary closure on State Route (SR) 123 through Mount Rainier National Park beginning at 7 a.m., Monday, September 17, 2012.
The closure are will be from Cayuse Pass (intersection w/ SR 410) to just north of the Shriner Peak trailhead, approximately seven miles south of Cayuse Pass. Pending weather delays, it is estimated that the Monday through Tuesday closure will end at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. If extension of this date is necessary, an updated press release will be issued.
Tucci and Sons, Inc. form Tacoma, WA, working under contract with Mount Rainier National Park, will replace the deeply bedded failed 36-inch culvert at milepost 10.7 (measured from the intersection of SR and US 12). It was discovered in 2009 that concrete culvert sections had separated will beneath the road. Washington State Department of Transportation crews plugged the failed culvert invert, filled in the intake basin, and installed two smaller diameter shallow temporary culverts in 2010 until which time a permanent replacement could be made.
During the temporary closure, visitors can access SR 123 from the park's southeast entrance via US 12 to reach the Shriner Peak trailhead. Due to the limited turnaround are at the Shriner Peak trailhead, oversized vehicles are encouraged to turnaround at the east entrance to Stevens Canyon Road. Visitors can also reach the Box Canyon Overlook and Picnic areas from the east via Stevens Canyon Road. However, due to construction work on the west end of Stevens Canyon Road, visitors will not be able to access Paradise from the east via Stevens Canyon Road. Visitors wanting to access the west side of the park are encouraged to use the park's Nisqually Entrance (southwest corner) via SR 706.
SR 123 serves the east side of the park, extending for approximately 20 miles from the intersection of US 12 to the south to the intersection with SR 410 on the north at Cayuse Pass. SR 410 also serves the east side of the park, extending from SR 167 near Sumner, Washington, east 107 miles over the Cascade Range at Chinook Pass to the intersection with US 12, 4 miles west of Naches Washington. SR 410 is one of five state highways that connect the Puget Sound area with eastern Washington. SR 410 is closed at the park boundary during the winter months, approximately early December to late May.
Updated information on this project may be obtained by calling Mount Rainier National Park at 360-569-6713. Information on this project, as well as general park information, is also available on Mount Rainier National Park's website (www.nps.gov/mora).
NOTE: Drivers can now get real time traffic and weather information by dialing 5-1-1 from most phones. This new traveler information system builds upon the highly successful Washington State Highway hotline that manages 4.6 million calls each year. Callers can also use 5-1-1 to get statewide construction, mountain pass conditions, and state ferry system information, as well as toll free numbers for passenger rail and airlines. TTY users can call 1-800-833-6388.