Historic Chinok Pass Entrance Arch Restoration Nears Completion
Contact: Sueann Brown, 360-569-6715
Mount Rainier park craftsmen have completed the year-long restoration work of the Chinook Pass Entrance Arch, a unique historic structure in the National Park system. Spanning across the Mather Memorial Parkway (SR 410) at 5,432 feet in elevation on the eastern boundary of the park, the arch was designed as both an entrance portal and an equestrian overpass, to convey hikers and riders on the Pacific Crest Trail. Built in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Rustic Style arch had deteriorated due to the elements and nearly eight decades of use. The final phase will take place on Monday, August 22, when the log stringers will be put in place.
The restoration project replaced inkind all of the deteriorated parts of the structure, including replacement of the log stringers that support the bridge deck and repair of the stone masonry abutments. Deteriorated components of the arch were removed last season, including the log stringers and masonry to prepare for replacement. Replacement logs were shaped and fitted according to National Park Service standards over the winter, in preparation for installation this summer.
The entrance will remain open, but visitors traveling on State Route 410 are advised that short traffic delays will occur as the logs are put in place.
When the project is complete, there should be no discernible changes for visitors, except the remarkable structure will be in good condition for another 80 years of service!
Did You Know?
About 5,600 years ago the summit and northeast face of Mount Rainier fell away in a massive landslide accompanied by volcanic explosions. The Osceola Mudflow, a towering wall of mud and rock, thundered down the White River Valley where it deposited 600' of debris eventually reaching the Puget Sound.