Repairs scheduled for Devils Punchbowl Bridge

Staff reportDecember 1, 2013 

The Paradise Inn, shown here in 1929, has always been a favorite place to spend the night at Mount Rainier National Park. Visitors planning a stay in 2014 can make reservations now.

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

Devils Punchbowl Bridge on the Spruce Railroad Trail along the north shore of Lake Crescent will be closed later this week.

The trail will be closed Tuesday through Friday so crews can replace decking on the bridge located 1.2 miles from the Lyre River Trailhead. The remainder of the trail will be open during the project, according to an Olympic National Park news release.

Scheduled work includes replacement of 90 feet of cedar plank decking on the 32-year-old bridge. This project will complete a series of repairs to restore the bridge to its original capacity and reopen it to stock.

The bridge was closed to stock in October 2011, after cracks were discovered in some of the structural members of the bridge trusses. Repairs were made to the trusses that year, but the bridge remained closed to stock pending a structural analysis of the bridge and subsequent repairs.

When replacement of the bridge decking is completed next month, the trail will reopen to stock.

Elsewhere in the park, work to rehabilitate three tunnels along Hurricane Ridge Road is complete.

The 10-week project included routine repairs and maintenance to extend the lifespan of the tunnels and provide improved visibility and safer conditions for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

Crews repaired and sealed more than 7,500 feet of cracks through all three tunnels, installed bicycle-friendly grates and applied a new coat of reflective interior paint to improve visibility.

RING IN HOLIDAYS AT PARK

The holiday celebration, Bringing in the Yule Log and Christmas Sing-A-Long, will take place at Schafer State Park, Elma, on Dec. 8 at 1 p.m.

Children will be able to hunt for a special log in the park, and everyone will join together to pull it back to the fire in the community hall. This will be followed by hot beverages, cookies, a warm fire and Christmas music.

The event is sponsored by the Friends of Schafer Lake Sylvia and Schafer State Park. The event is free, but a Discover Pass is needed to enter the park.

For more information, visit theschaferstateparkteam.org or call 360-612-3479, or contact the group’s chairman, Stet Palmer at 360-789-9953. MAKE YOUR RESERVATION NOW

Visitors planning to visit Mount Rainier National Park in 2014 can make reservations now to stay at Paradise Inn. The inn is scheduled to be open May 21-Oct. 6.

The inn, built in 1916, has 121 guest rooms, the Paradise Inn Dining Room, Tatoosh Café and a gift shop.

The 25-room National Park Inn at Longmire is open year-round.

Reservations can be made Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. by calling 360-569-2275 or going online to mtrainierguestservices.com.

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