A temporary closure of the Foothills Trail between the Orting and Crocker trailheads began on Tuesday to allow Pierce County crews to install large rocks weighing up to 15 tons as part of the annual levee repair program. The large rocks will replace the existing levee rocks and make it more stable, according to Pierce County officials.
“This maintenance work is needed to protect people and property when a lot of water is flowing in the Carbon River,” said Pierce County Public Works surface water manager Harold Smelt. “We recognize these closures of the trail are inconvenient, so we appreciate the community’s patience.”
Pedestrians and cyclists are not allowed through the worksite during the closure due to heavy equipment traffic and hazardous trail conditions. Flaggers are stationed on both ends of the closure during work hours to ensure people do not enter the barricaded construction zone.
Pierce County officials have posted signs at trailheads and on either side of the work site warning trail users of the maintenance work and closures. People on the trail should use caution around the work site and follow instructions from the crew. Trucks and heavy equipment will access the levee via Bridge Street and 188th Street.
If deemed safe by Pierce County officials, the trail may re-open during non-work hours after 5 p.m. and on weekends. The trail surface may be rougher than normal, so trail users should use extreme caution. After the work is completed, the trail will be resurfaced if needed to repair any damages.
The work is expected to last approximately two weeks.
Due to federal, state and local environmental regulations, construction on most river projects must be done during the summer to avoid impacts to salmon. Construction has been scheduled for late July to early August to avoid disruption of planned events taking place on the trail.
Trail users can visit piercecountywa.org/TrailClosure to learn more about the project and get daily updates about the trail closure schedule.