Visitors to Mount Rainier National Park can expect traffic delays beginning Monday due to work along the road between Longmire and Paradise. The work on the most heavily traveled route in the park is expected to continue through the start of November.
Contractors will complete installation of utility conduits and a power line from Longmire and Paradise.
“We asked them to stop work in August and September when visitation is so high,” said park superintendent Randy King.
The delays should not last longer than 30 minutes. When stopped, drivers are asked to turn off their vehicle to reduce air pollution.
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Visitors should also be aware that power outages are planned at Longmire and Paradise weekdays from Oct. 13-23 while crews work on roadside utility vaults.
This is the first of a two-phase project to repair the 17.6 miles of road from the park’s western entrance to the most visited location in the park. The work on the $32 million road project began last year with work on the roadway from the Nisqually entrance to Longmire.
“It’s an amazing contrast to what we had before,” King said of the work done on the roadway. “It’s just a wonderful project to be accomplishing.”
The second phase will begin in 2016. King said the National Park Service will seek bids this winter. It will include repairing and repaving the 12-13 miles of road from Longmire to Paradise.
The utility work, which includes running fiber optic cables to Paradise, is costing an additional $5 million, the majority coming from entrance and camping fees collected at the park.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640