Friday, March 12, 2010

Expect delays as crews begin to move Mount Baker Highway near Glacier

The American Alpine Institute just received the following email from Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest:

GLACIER – Crews are moving equipment into place now and will soon shift a quarter-mile of Mount Baker Highway (SR 542) away from the Nooksack River near east Church Mountain Road, four miles east of Glacier. Drivers can expect closures and delays to begin this month.

WSDOT will shift the highway to help reduce the risk of flood damage and emergency closures. This is a long-term fix that will prevent costly emergency repairs and lane closures.

Starting Monday, March 22, and lasting for two weeks, crews will stop traffic for up to 30 minutes at a time during daylight hours, Monday through Saturday, to fall and remove trees along what will become the new path for the highway.

The Forest Service will close Church Mountain Road (Forest Service Road 3040) March 17 through April 22. The Forest Service road provides access to the Church Mountain Trailhead. Hikers can still access to the trailhead from Forest Service Road 3035 by hiking 1.25 miles east along the power lines to Church Mountain Road.

Along with shifting the highway, crews will also build a new bridge at Chain-up Creek, to improve fish passage. The existing culvert is a barrier for fish. Bridge work will begin in June. Crews will reduce the road to one lane for several months and will use a signal to alternate traffic through the area.

This project is primarily funded by the 2005 Transportation Partnership Funding Package.

Hikers are advised to call the Mt. Baker Ranger District at 360-856-5700 or visit their Web site for updated information about trails and roads.

For more project details, visit the Web page:

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