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Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
The 17-mile Hurricane Ridge Road will remain closed through at least noon tomorrow, Wednesday, August 19 and perhaps longer due to the continuing slow rockfall onto the road.
“The amount of rocks falling into the road decreased today, and our crew has begun improvements to the existing rock berm at the base of the rockfall chute,” said Sue McGill, Olympic National Park Deputy Superintendent. “Staff will continue to closely monitor the situation and hope to complete improvements to the berm early tomorrow. If all goes as planned, we hope to be able to open the road sometime tomorrow afternoon.”
“Visitor and employee safety remain our highest priority however, and we will open the road as soon it is safe to do so,” emphasized McGill.
The rockfall originates on a steep slope high above the road and follows a winter avalanche chute about nine miles south of Port Angeles and four miles above the Heart o’the Hills entrance station.
The Hurricane Ridge Road was closed on Sunday, August 16 after rangers observed a continuous and steady stream of falling rocks and gravel on both Saturday and Sunday. Rocks have continued to fall since then.
Members of the park maintenance staff flew over the site today and were able to better observe the summit and upper slope of the rockfall chute. A Federal Highway Administration engineering geologist also visited the site today. Based on their observations, short-term improvements will be made to the existing rock barrier along the roadway, while long term plans can be made.
More information will be released as it becomes available.
For information about alternative destinations within Olympic National Park, people may consult the park's website at www.nps.gov/olym or call the Olympic National Park Visitor Center at 360-565-3130. The recorded Road and Weather Hotline is updated throughout the day with changes and can be reached by calling 360-565-3131.