June 2, 2011
Kerry Olson, 360-854-7302
The Stehekin Winter Ferry Dock is now complete and in use by the Lake Chelan Boat Company ferries transporting visitors and residents of Stehekin. The new dock provides universal access for all passengers traveling on Lake Chelan via the commercial ferry system. It is part of approximately $3 million dollars in work that has been completed by North Cascades National Park Complex to improve the accessibility of Stehekin facilities and services and is the most notable improvement to the Stehekin Landing in almost forty years.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Friday, May 27th to officially inaugurate the new Stehekin Ferry Dock. The million-dollar project was funded through a grant from the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program to construct a fully accessible passenger ferry dock that improves low-water access at the Stehekin Landing. Photos of the ribbon cutting and the entire project can be found on the North Cascades National Park Flickr site at http://bit.ly/ikM4Ph.
“Integral to the success of the project was the valuable input and cooperation of Lake Chelan Boat Company, who maintained ferry service throughout construction,” said North Cascades National Park Complex Superintendent, Chip Jenkins, “as well as the commitment of Wesslen Construction, Inc. for providing an outstanding product while being sensitive to the needs of the community and the patience and understanding of the Stehekin Landing Resort, Stehekin residents, and spring visitors.”
The Stehekin Winter Ferry Landing Improvement Project includes a fixed walkway over the repaired bulkhead of the existing boat launch and new mooring piles. The Stehekin Dock was designed by Geiger Engineers with support from Jones & Jones, Ashton Engineering, and National Park Service staff. The final design evolved to be a simple structure that could effectively provide ADA-compliant passenger access and maintain freight movement with no moving parts throughout the full range of seasonal lake level fluctuation.
Wesslen Construction, Inc. based out of Spokane, WA was awarded the construction contract in September, 2010. The combination of their relevant experience, past performance, and price made them the “best value” for the federal project. The fourteen-week construction period began February 21st, 2011 and the crew finished ahead of schedule despite record snowpack increases in the Lake Chelan watershed during the month of March. Planting of native vegetation and additional erosion control will be completed later this year.
“With the Stehekin Landing Resort and the Golden West Visitor Center now open for the summer season, we want to invite all people to visit Stehekin this summer,” said Jenkins. “This project is part of our overall effort to improve accessibility in Stehekin for visitors.”
New shuttle buses, remodeled restrooms at the Stehekin Landing Resort, and an upgrade to the lower trail at Rainbow Falls are some of the other projects completed to improve accessibility in Stehekin. Recently an upper Rainbow Mist Trail was also completed to provide additional access to the popular Rainbow Falls area.
The Environmental Assessment’s Finding of No Significant Impact for the Stehekin Winter Ferry Landing Improvement Project can be accessed from www.nps.gov/noca/parkmgmt/ferry.htm.