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Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
The Graves Creek and South Shore Roads Rehabilitation Environmental Assessment (EA) was released today for a 30-day public review and comment period.
The EA evaluates alternatives to repair the damaged South Shore and Graves Creek roads within Olympic National Park, both of which were damaged during last December’s storms.
“Our goal for the Graves Creek and South Shore roads is to provide sustainable access into the Quinault Rain Forest, while protecting area resources,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin. “We invite people to review the EA and provide us with their comments and input.”
Options examined in the EA include the design and placement of engineered log jams, bank barbs, and reinforced floodplains along portions of the roadway. Also under consideration is the placement of bridges, instead of culverts, at two locations, to better protect the road while protecting and improving habitat for fish.
The record-breaking storm of December 3, 2007 brought extreme flooding and high winds to many areas of the Olympic Peninsula. Roads and facilities throughout Olympic National Park were damaged, including the Quinault Rain Forest’s Graves Creek and South Shore roads. Graves Creek Road was severely damaged at three locations from floodwaters from the East Fork Quinault River. Five other sites were also damaged because of plugged or washed-out culverts, debris flows, and erosion along tributaries to the East Fork Quinault River. The Graves Creek Road remains closed to vehicle traffic, although it opened to foot, stock and bicycle use in late April.
During the same storm, the South Shore Road was washed out near the park boundary by flood waters from the Quinault River. Emergency repairs were completed and the road reopened to motor vehicles on April 1.
Both the Graves Creek and South Shore roads are important access routes for the Quinault Rain Forest. Together with the North Shore Road, the South Shore Road provides a popular loop drive through the Quinault Rain Forest. The Graves Creek Road extends for six miles, providing access to the Graves Creek Campground and ranger station and to a popular trailhead.
The Graves Creek and South Shore Roads Rehabilitation Environmental Assessment may be reviewed and comments submitted online by visiting the website for the National Park Service’s Planning Environment and Public Comment system, no later than October 15, 2008. This EA was prepared by the National Park Service (NPS) in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Comments may also be sent to:
Superintendent – Graves Creek & South Shore Roads EA
Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362
Commenters should be aware that their entire comment – including personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While commenters can ask that their personal identifying information be withheld from public review, the NPS cannot guarantee that this will be possible.
For more information about this project, people may visit National Park Service’s Planning Environment and Public Comment website at https://parkplanning.nps.gov or call the park at 360-565-3004.