State completes work on Willapa Hills State Park trail bridges

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission announced the completion of four bridges on the Willapa Hills State Park Trail, a 56-mile recreation trail that connects Chehalis with South Bend in Pacific County.

The bridge completions will be celebrated at a public dedication event, 10 a.m., Saturday, June 18, at the Adna Trailhead, about five miles west of Chehalis.

The event will feature speakers, including Commissioners and project partners, Lewis County Trails, the Washington State Parks Foundation and the Boeing Company. Following the ceremony, guests will be invited to don hiking boots or jump on their bicycles to make a self-guided trip on the trail and visit three of the four newly completed structures nearest the dedication site.

The following Saturday, June 25, Lewis County Community Trails plays host to the Willapa Hills Trail Fat Tire Ride and Festival, with a ride from Chehalis to Pe Ell (www.ridethewillapa.com).

The Willapa Hills Trail is a key component of a State Parks cross-state trail network from the Idaho border to Willapa Bay. The Willapa Hills Trail takes visitors across historic bridges of the former Northern Pacific Railway Line spanning the Chehalis River, creeks and tributaries.

Recently completed bridge projects include:

Bridge 5 — Five miles west of Chehalis. The project replaced decking and rails on combination steel and wood bridge with trestles. Project cost was $550,000, with grant funding provided by the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program. Design by State Parks and MC Squared of Olympia, and construction by Tapani, Inc., Battle Ground.

Spooner Bridge — Six miles west of Chehalis. Replacement of railroad trestles destroyed in 2007 flood, with 300-foot, single-span post-tensioned steel truss and concrete bridge. Project cost was $2.3 million, with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds. Design by OTAK, Inc., of Vancouver and Portland, OR and construction by Quigg Brothers, Inc., Aberdeen.

Dryad Bridge — 16 miles west of Chehalis. Replacement of bridge destroyed in 2007 flood, with a post-tensioned steel-truss and concrete deck structure. Project design by OTAK, Inc., of Vancouver and Portland, OR and construction by Quigg Brothers, Inc., Aberdeen.

Bridge 27 — Funded with a mix of support that includes $62,000 in capital dollars, $100,000 from the Washington State Parks Foundation through a donation from the Boeing Company and a $40,000 donation by Lewis County Community Trails. Design and construction was completed by State Parks staff.

The rail trail is paved in two separate segments, between Chehalis and Adna, and between South Bend and Raymond. The segment between Adna and Pe Ell has a surface of compacted gravel. Several bridges and much of the surface of trail in the Pacific County segment remain unimproved, and State Parks has plans to complete this work as funding is available. The trail is closed west of Pe Ell to the Pacific County line.

— Washington State Parks

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