Forum Index > Trail Talk > ONP Spruce Railroad Trail Update! 06/22/18 (one year later)
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PostMon Jun 26, 2017 4:27 pm 
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Monday June 26, 2017 15:50 PDT

Olympic National Park News Release

From Timber for World War I Airplanes to Providing Fish Habitat Today: Trees Cleared to Improve Spruce Railroad Trail Put to Use Preserving Fish Habitat in Park Road Repairs


Last load of logs through McFee tunnel Spruce Railroad Trail ONP - photo courtesty Don Brouillard FHWA
Last load of logs through McFee tunnel Spruce Railroad Trail ONP - photo courtesty Don Brouillard FHWA
McFeeTunnel - Spruce Railroad Trail ONP - photo courtesy Bert Kellogg Collection North Olympic Library System
McFeeTunnel - Spruce Railroad Trail ONP - photo courtesy Bert Kellogg Collection North Olympic Library System

PORT ANGELES, WA:  The last load of logs was hauled through the McFee Tunnel on the Spruce Railroad Trail (SRRT) and will be used for a radically different purpose than the intention of the historic Spruce Railroad. A side-by-side comparison of the recent and historic photographs of the McFee Tunnel offers an opportunity to pause and reflect; to look back on the ride along the track of time and forward down the line ahead.

Nearly 100 years after the railroad was built with the intention of logging and transporting lumber for the war effort, trees are now removed to improve the SRRT and provide universal accessibility.  Today, the railroad grade is part of Olympic National Park and the SRRT is a piece of the 134-mile long Olympic Discovery Trail which will eventually connect Port Townsend to La Push—Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean.

The trees removed from sections of the SRRT, some complete with root wads, have been utilized by the park to preserve fish habitat in road damage repairs along rivers throughout the park. The removal of trees to provide for visitor access was very selective and went through analysis to mitigate impacts to the environment. The logs were used in park road repairs on Olympic Hot Springs Road, Graves Creek Road, Quinault North Shore Road and eventually on the Hoh Road.

The placement of rip rap to armor road banks along water ways, a prevalent practice throughout the 20th century, inadvertently diminished fish habitat. Traditional bank protection methods tended to create a smooth, hard surface along the bank which increased water velocities and simplified the stream channel. New bank stabilization methods employ the use of large logs with root wads intact and other native materials to create a roughened, complex surface to lessen the impact on fish habitat.  Wood can also be used to create structures to mimic natural fish habitat where it has been lost due to past practices.

In 1918, the need to harvest and transport aircraft-quality spruce for bi-planes in World War I led to the construction of the Spruce Railroad. The railroad was almost complete in the fall of 1918, but the end of World War I in November meant the end of the operation and no Sitka spruce were ever processed at the local mills for bi-planes. The railroad was purchased from the government and utilized as a common-carrier line and logging railroad after the war until it was abandoned in 1951.

Today, the SRRT is in the fifth phase of a multi-year collaborative project to establish the entire 9.5 mile length of the trail as a universally accessible, multipurpose trail to be shared by hikers, bicyclists, equestrians and people traveling in wheelchairs. This phase, to be completed in the next few weeks, includes construction of an additional half-mile section of 12'-wide universally accessible trail as well as restoration of the 450-foot long McFee Tunnel. The contract also includes demolition and removal of a park-owned structure to allow for construction of a new 33-car parking lot with additional parking for oversized vehicles and a horse trailer turn-around at the Lyre River Trailhead.

The eastern portion of the SRRT from the Lyre River Trailhead is closed with no access to Devil’s Punchbowl. The western section of trail beyond the Camp David Jr. Road Trailhead is open for a few miles to just west of Devil’s Punchbowl. Both tunnels are currently closed to pedestrians. This phase of improvements, including the McFee Tunnel, will be open to the public in mid-July.

Additional work to improve the SRRT is planned for late 2017 and 2018, with completion anticipated in late 2019.

For current trail, road and travel information, visitors should consult the park website at www.nps.gov/olym or call the recorded Road and Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131.

Photo credit for the historic photograph of the McFee Tunnel courtesy of the Bert Kellogg Collection of the North Olympic Library System.

--NPS--

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FungiFan
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PostTue Jun 27, 2017 7:14 am 
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Thanks for the update Ski

FF

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Ski
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PostFri Feb 23, 2018 11:14 pm 
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Wednesday February 21, 2018 17:12 PST

Olympic National Park News Release

Lake Crescent Spruce Railroad Trail Project Resumes March 1


Spruce Railroad Trail work ONP 022118  map courtesy Olympic National Park
Spruce Railroad Trail work ONP 022118  map courtesy Olympic National Park

PORT ANGELES, WA:  The next phase of improvements to the Spruce Railroad Trail is set to begin March 1. During this phase, one mile of the trail on the western end will be closed beginning at the Camp David Jr. Road Trailhead. The trail will remain open for use on the eastern end for 2.7 miles—from the Lyre River Trailhead to the Daley Rankin Tunnel.

This phase is scheduled to be completed by the end of July 2018 and includes bank stabilization, culvert installation, and trail improvements matching the one mile section completed last year from the Lyre River Trailhead to the newly restored McFee Tunnel.

“When this project is completed in 2019 there will be nearly ten miles of universally accessible trail along the beautiful north shore of Lake Crescent,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “I deeply appreciate our continued collaboration with Clallam County and the Federal Highway Administration.”

Future project work will include paving the Lyre River Trailhead parking lot, restoring the Daley Rankin Tunnel, and finishing the remaining trail improvements. Paving the length of the trail will occur in the final phase. Completion of the Spruce Railroad Trail project is anticipated in late 2019.

The Spruce Railroad Trail improvements are part of a multi-year collaborative project to establish the entire 10 mile length of the trail as a universally accessible, multipurpose trail to be shared by hikers, bicyclists, equestrians and people traveling in wheelchairs. Clallam County and Olympic National Park are jointly funding the project and have contracted with Bruch & Bruch Construction of Port Angeles to complete the work.  Federal Highway Administration staff provide construction management and general contract oversight.

The Spruce Railroad Trail follows the historic railroad grade of the Spruce Railroad, built in 1918 and abandoned in 1951. When the project is completed  in 2019 it will become a signature piece of the 134-mile long Olympic Discovery Trail that will eventually connect Port Townsend to La Push—Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean.

For current trail, road and travel information, visitors should consult the park website at www.nps.gov/olym or call the recorded Road and Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131.

--NPS--

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostSat Feb 24, 2018 1:32 am 
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It will be interesting to check it out when it’s completed.

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Quark
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PostTue Feb 27, 2018 8:39 am 
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Thanks, Ski! Great update & history.

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PostFri Jun 22, 2018 10:37 pm 
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Friday June 22, 2018 14:12 PDT

Olympic National Park News Release

Lake Crescent Spruce Railroad Trail Now Open on Western End


PORT ANGELES, WA:  The full length of the Spruce Railroad Trail is now open following the latest phase of improvements by Bruch & Bruch Construction of Port Angeles. Parking for the western end of the trail on Camp David Jr. Road will be located at the North Shore Picnic Area this summer.

This latest phase included bank stabilization, culvert installation, and trail improvements matching the one-mile section completed last year from the Lyre River Trailhead to the newly restored McFee Tunnel. Work will resume in October 2018 west of the Daley Rankin Tunnel to complete retaining wall work. Trail users can expect the same one-mile closure of the trail on the western end as this latest phase.

“When this project is completed in 2019 there will be nearly ten miles of universally accessible trail along the beautiful north shore of Lake Crescent,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “I deeply appreciate our continued collaboration with Clallam County and the Federal Highway Administration.”

Future project work will include paving the Lyre River Trailhead parking lot, restoring the Daley Rankin Tunnel, and finishing the remaining trail improvements. Paving the length of the trail will occur in the final phase.

The Spruce Railroad Trail improvements are part of a multi-year collaborative project to establish the entire 10-mile length of the trail as a universally accessible, multipurpose trail to be shared by hikers, bicyclists, equestrians and people traveling in wheelchairs. Clallam County and Olympic National Park are jointly funding the project. Federal Highway Administration staff provide construction management and general contract oversight.

The Spruce Railroad Trail follows the historic railroad grade of the Spruce Railroad, built in 1918 and abandoned in 1951. When the project is completed  in 2019 it will become a signature piece of the 134-mile long Olympic Discovery Trail that will eventually connect Port Townsend to La Push—Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean.

For current trail, road and travel information, visitors should consult the park website at www.nps.gov/olym or call the recorded Road and Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131.

Spruce Railroad Trail - Olympic National Park - photo courtesy FHWA Brouillard 062218
Spruce Railroad Trail - Olympic National Park - photo courtesy FHWA Brouillard 062218
Spruce Railroad Trail - Olympic National Park - photo courtesy FHWA Brouillard 062218
Spruce Railroad Trail - Olympic National Park - photo courtesy FHWA Brouillard 062218

-NPS-

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostThu Feb 13, 2020 12:52 pm 
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Wednesday February 12, 2020 14:51 PST

Olympic National Park News Release

Final Phase of Construction on Spruce Railroad Trail to Begin in Early March

Full trail closure until work is completed in fall 2020



PORT ANGELES, WA:  The final phase of work on the Spruce Railroad Trail at Lake Crescent is set to begin in early March and be completed by November 2020. During this phase, the entire four-mile trail along Lake Crescent will be closed to all use for public safety due to the heavy equipment and truck traffic involved in construction.

Upcoming work will include restoring the Daley Rankin Tunnel, rockfall mitigation, retaining wall construction, and finishing the remaining trail improvements. Paving the length of the trail and the Lyre River Trailhead parking area will complete the multi-year collaborative project.

During construction, East Beach Road will be closed to the public at the intersection with Joyce-Piedmont Road. Camp David Jr. Road will be closed to the public beyond the North Shore Picnic Area. Devil’s Punchbowl will only be accessible by boat until this final phase is complete. The westbound portion of the Olympic Discovery Trail and Pyramid Peak Trail will remain accessible from the North Shore Picnic Area on Camp David Jr. Road.

“We understand visitors will miss getting out on the trail while it is under construction and we look forward to its reopening and the creation of nearly ten miles of universally accessible trail,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. “This would not have been possible without the continued collaboration with Clallam County and the Federal Highway Administration.”

The $5 million contract for this final phase was recently awarded to Bruch & Bruch Construction of Port Angeles. Clallam County and Olympic National Park are jointly funding the project. The park obtained close to $1 million for this contract through the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013 which provides cost-sharing funds to the National Park Service (NPS) to improve infrastructure. Clallam County is funding the remainder of the contract. Federal Highway Administration staff provide construction management and general contract oversight.

The Spruce Railroad Trail improvements are part of a multi-year collaborative project to establish the entire 10-mile length of the trail as a 12'-wide universally accessible, multipurpose trail to be shared by hikers, bicyclists, equestrians, and people traveling in wheelchairs. Restoration of the 450-foot long McFee Tunnel was completed in summer 2017. Previous contracts also included bank stabilization, culvert installation, and demolition and removal of a park-owned structure to allow for construction of a new 33-car parking lot at the Lyre River Trailhead with additional parking for oversized vehicles and a horse trailer turn-around.

The Spruce Railroad Trail follows the historic railroad grade of the Spruce Railroad, built in 1918 and abandoned in 1951. When the project is completed in fall 2020 it will become a signature piece of the 134-mile long Olympic Discovery Trail that will eventually connect Port Townsend to La Push—Puget Sound to the Pacific Ocean.

For current trail, road and travel information, visitors should consult the park website at www.nps.gov/olym or call the recorded Road and Weather Hotline at 360-565-3131.

-NPS-

Spruce Railroad Trail Update September 2, 2016

Spruce Railroad Trail Update July 17, 2015

Spruce Railroad Trail Original EA Announcement May 10, 2012


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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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lookout bob
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PostThu Feb 13, 2020 4:30 pm 
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Thanks for posting the update Ski! cool.gif

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