Work on the Carbon River levee will begin at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, forcing the closure of the Foothills Trail between the Orting and Crocker trailheads.
Pierce County officials expect it to take two weeks for the project to be completed.
Maintenance crews from Pierce County will be doing their annual levee repair work, including the installation of large rocks weighing up to 15 tons. The rocks will replace the existing levee rocks and make it more stable. Trucks and heavy equipment will access the levee via Bridge and 188th streets.
“This maintenance work is needed to protect people and property when a lot of water is flowing in the Carbon River,” Harold Smelt, Pierce County Public Works surface water manager, said in a news release. “We recognize these closures of the trail are inconvenient, so we appreciate the community’s patience.”
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The start of the levee work is dependent on when the county maintenance crews finish the job they are working on before this one, said Tiffany O’Dell, Public Works outreach coordinator.
Pedestrians and cyclists will not be allowed through the work site during the closure because of heavy equipment traffic and hazardous trail conditions, O’Dell said. Flaggers will be stationed at both ends of the closure area.
The county also will post signs at trailheads and on either side of the work site warning trail users of the maintenance work and closures. People on the trail should use caution around the work site and follow instructions from the crew.
“If things go extremely well, we’re hoping to reopen the trail in the evenings and over the weekends,” O’Dell said. “But if heavy equipment does major damage to the trail and we cannot safely reopen, it will stay closed. We’re going to be out there doing everything we can to limit damage to the trail and get it reopened to users.”
After the work is completed, the trail will be resurfaced if needed to repair any damage.
The work is taking place during the summer because of federal, state and local environmental regulations that mandate construction on most river projects be done during the summer to avoid impacts to salmon.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640
TRAIL CLOSURE UPDATES
Pierce County officials will be posting daily updates on the Foothills Trail closure at piercecountywa.org/trailclosure.