Capital Bicycling Club calls special meeting regarding Chehalis Western Trail closure

The Capital Bicycling Club is calling a special meeting Wednesday night to discuss the temporary closure of a section of the popular Chehalis Western Trail.

The 7:30 p.m. meeting is at the Capital Museum Coach House, 213 21st Ave SW, Olympia, and is open to the public. Thurston County representatives have been invited to attend. The club asks those who are impacted by the closure to attend the meeting or email their opinions to contact@capitalbicycleclub.org.

A 1-mile section of the trail south of the Indian Summer Golf Course was closed June 19 when BNSF Railways began construction on the train trestle crossing over Rainier Road.

The trail will be closed for approximately two months, according to a statement released by the Thurston County.

According to the statement, crews aren’t expected to be working throughout the two-month closure, but the trail will remain closed for safety considerations. Roads will remain open.

"The bottom line for us is that this is BNSF's project, and they control the schedule, not us," Thurston County Parks Manager Kerry Hibdon said in the statement. "It's a real shame that it comes right in the heart of summer when the trail is used the most, but safety is our number one concern here, so that section of the trail will be closed until BNSF completes their project."

Hibdon also said, "This will still be an active construction site with hazards like equipment, materials, temporary supports, even holes in the ground. For safety's sake, we ask that people obey the signs and stay out of the barricaded area until construction is completely finished."