Forest Service Road Repair Projects Improve Forest Access, Water Quality

Wenatchee, WA   — Over the next several weeks seven Forest Service roads in the Cle Elum and Naches areas will receive much needed repair.

“Construction work to repair flood damaged roads and replace culverts will be occurring in several different locations on the Naches and Cle Elum Ranger District over the next several weeks,” said Jason Peterson, Lead Forest Engineer for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. “Road repairs will provide for improved forest access for visitors and better water quality and habitat for fish. Several of the culvert replacements will also provide for improved fish passage into upstream habitat areas,” he added.

Temporary road closures are planned to facilitate the repair work. Visitors are advised to check with the local ranger district or forest website before they travel, because some of the construction schedules have had to be adjusted due to ongoing wildfire closures in some locations.

Six of the projects are funded by the Federal Highways Administration to do emergency repairs on federally owned roads. The Cougar Gulch projects was funded under a special habitat conservation funding.


Cle Elum Ranger District

Forest Roads #9718 - Cougar Gulch Road, milepost 4.6, and the 9718-112 Road — Projects are targeted to begin the week of September 17. These two roads will be closed for repair and culvert replacement work to provide improved road access. The culvert replacements will allow for fish passage into upstream areas of Cougar Gulch, which will be beneficial to federally endangered steelhead as well as other native fish species. Construction will create a short-term disturbance but lead to long-term benefits to water conveyance, fish passage, and improved habitat conditions for steelhead and cutthroat trout.   

A detour will be available during construction for the #9718 project via the Williams Creek road.  However there is no detour for the 9718-112 project as it is a spur road. Construction is anticipated to take about ten days to complete for removal and reinstallation of the new culverts.

This project is being done in partnership with the Kittitas Conservation Trust and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Yakama Nation. The funding source for this project was from State Salmon Recovery Funding Board through the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office  Additional funding support will also be coming from the Bonneville Power Administration through the 2018 Yakima Tributaries, Access, and Habitat Program.

Forest Road #3507- Pole Patch Road, milepost 8.0 — Beginning August 27 work to repair damage from erosion and to replace culverts will begin. Scheduled temporary closures are planned Monday thru Thursdays while construction work is taking place for 2 hour time blocks between 6 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., with planned scheduled brief 15 minute openings for traffic to pass.  The roads will be open on weekends.

Forest Road #9737 - North Fork Teanaway Road — Repair work to repair flood damage and replace culverts will continue the second week of September when construction crews return to complete the last culvert installation.  Travelers can anticipate scheduled temporary road closures when construction work is taking place. Check with the Cle Elum Ranger District for updates on road status. Repair work started in mid-August and is anticipated to be complete by the end of September.


Naches Ranger District

Forest Road #1701 - Bald Mountain Road, milepost 0.3 — Starting September 5 to repair road damage from erosion and to install a culvert near Benton Creek. A six hour closure is planned for that on September 5, between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Forest Road #1502 - McDaniel Lake — Construction work is anticipated to begin the second week of September to repair bridge damage and road washout. The road will remain closed to all traffic during construction.

Forest Service Roads #1000 and 1040  — Repair work continues on these two roads in the area of Grey Creek Campground and Conrad Meadows to repair flood damage and replace culverts. Both roads will remain closed until construction work is complete, which is anticipated to wrap-up at the end of September. 

Teanaway road repair work

Work to repair flood damage and install new culverts is underway on the # 9737 North Fork Teanaway Road located on the Cle Elum Ranger District. Credit: Federal Highway Administration

Stay connected to your public lands. Get the latest forest news and alerts by texting ‘follow OkaWenNF’ to 40404, 'liking' us on Facebook or following us on Twitter @OkaWenNF

The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.