Work will begin Monday, June 29 on a Pierce County project to resurface 6.1 miles of Crystal Mountain Boulevard East from State Route 410 to the Crystal Mountain Resort during the summer and fall of 2015 and 2016. Crews will also install new guardrails and replace three Silver Creek culverts with larger culvert structures.
The road will remain open during the project. In 2015, work will take place on weekdays through late October.
There will be intermittent delays beginning June 29 as crews start clearing slopes located along the first two miles of Crystal Mountain Boulevard East. Crews will also remove asphalt from the roadway at two culverts located near Crystal Mountain Resort. Work at these three locations is expected to last through October.
Pierce County Public Works will coordinate activities with the contractor to minimize overall delays. The road will be reduced to one lane with alternating traffic in the three work areas, with flaggers on-site to direct traffic. There will be intermittent delays in both directions that could last up to 10 minutes. Occasional delays requiring more than 10 minutes are anticipated and will be posted by message board. Motorists should allow additional travel time to reach the resort.
Portable signal systems will control alternating one-way traffic in the work zones after work hours and on the weekends.
After the 4th of July weekend, activities will pick up at the two culvert locations as crews start removing loose rock from the mountainside and lowering the road to a temporary grade to allow for the installation of two new box culverts. Similar work at the third culvert is expected to begin later in the summer.
About the project
Crystal Mountain Boulevard is a two-lane road owned by the U.S. Forest Service, but maintained by Pierce County. The road is the most expensive to maintain in the county due to its remote location and aging infrastructure.
“This project is needed to address the deteriorating roadway and failing guardrails, and reduce the risk of rockslides,” said Brian D. Stacy, Public Works county engineer. “It is cost effective to make these improvements now to address the aging infrastructure and enhance safety along with roadway. The project will allow the roadway to better handle regular maintenance and ultimately reduce annual maintenance costs.”
The businesses at the resort will remain open during the work. Homeowners will be able to use the access road to their mountain properties.
Two construction seasons are needed due to the weather, environmental permitting, and the remote location, which makes it difficult to haul in and stage construction materials. Work will be suspended during the winter, and will not impact winter use.
“We recognize that it is important to local businesses, visitors and homeowners that the roadway remain open and the mountain accessible,” Stacy said. “Therefore, we are staging construction in order to keep the roadway open at all times.”
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.
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.
Crystal Mountain is accessed year-round by homeowners, businesses and recreational users who participate in snow sports, hiking, biking, horseback riding and more.
A project webpage is available at www.piercecountywa.org/crp5738.
Henry Gertje, P.E., Public Works construction engineering supervisor(253) firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Radford, Public Works public information officer(253) 798-2464