PIERCE COUNTY — Work on a road project along Crystal Mountain Boulevard East from State Route 410 to the Crystal Mountain Resort will resume May 23.
Utility crews will be onsite for about two weeks starting May 23 to relocate utility lines located near Mile Marker 6 of the 6.1 mile road. The road may periodically be reduced to one lane with alternating traffic. Minor delays are expected.
Starting in mid to late June, more significant traffic impacts are expected while crews remove trees and shrubs located near Mile Marker 6. Following this work, crews will remove and replace two Silver Creek culverts near Mile Markers 4 and 6. Crews will also work on the rock slopes, resurface the roadway and replace guardrails.
“This project will address the deteriorating roadway and failing guardrails, and reduce the risk of rockslides,” said Brian D. Stacy, P.E., Public Works county engineer. “We need to make these improvements now to address the aging infrastructure and enhance safety along the roadway. The project will allow the roadway to better handle regular maintenance and ultimately reduce annual maintenance costs.”
The road will remain open during the work, which will take place through October. The businesses at the resort will also remain open.
Pierce County will work with the contractor to coordinate activities in the work areas to minimize overall delays. There will be intermittent delays in both directions up to 20 minutes in duration. Occasional delays longer than 20 minutes may occur during the culvert replacements. Motorists should allow additional travel time to reach the resort.
The project began in June 2015, but the work was suspended or restricted for much of the summer and fall due to fire precautions in the area. Crews replaced one culvert, and cleared trees and shrubs from slopes located along the first two miles of Crystal Mountain Boulevard East in 2015.
When work begins on the culverts, the road will be reduced to one lane with alternating traffic near Mile Marker 4 and Mile Marker 6. Flaggers will be onsite to direct traffic during work hours. A temporary signal system may be installed to control traffic outside of work hours.
Crews will remove the existing asphalt at both of these locations, and excavate the road down to the existing culverts. The deepest culvert is located near Mile Marker 4 and will require excavation to a depth of approximately 35 feet below the existing roadway. As the contractor works on each of the culverts, they will build temporary one-lane bypass roads at each location and divert Silver Creek into temporary bypass pipes. The bypass road at Mile Marker 4 will include a temporary span bridge.
Once the temporary bypass roads are completed, traffic will be diverted onto them while crews remove the old culverts and install new box culverts. Crews will then backfill the road and build the new road surface. Once the road surface is built, crews will remove the temporary bypass roads and divert the creek back into the culverts.
Paving work along all 6.1 miles of the roadway may occur at night. Guardrails are expected to be replaced during the day. Crews will also finish rock stabilization work near Mile Marker 1.
Temporary striping will be installed as the road is repaved. Final striping will be installed after the paving work is completed. The installation of the permanent striping is weather dependent.
Crystal Mountain Boulevard East is a two-lane road owned by the U.S. Forest Service, but maintained by Pierce County.
This project has several environmental considerations, including protecting wildlife and minimizing noise impacts. Pierce County will mitigate impacts by avoiding work during times which may impact wildlife habitats in accordance with approved permit conditions as determined by the appropriate regulatory agencies.
Strider Construction Co. Inc. is the project’s contractor. The construction cost is approximately $12 million. The project is funded with an $8,256,200 grant from the Federal Highway Administration and $3,890,860 from the County Road Administration Board.
A project webpage is available at www.piercecountywa.org/crp5738.