Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission undergoing a planning process to renovate the main park entrance at Beacon Rock State Park. The project primarily addresses traffic and visitor safety where State Route 14 (SR 14) intersects the entrance to Beacon Rock. The purpose of the project is to design safer parking, realign or relocate the vehicle entrance, and analyze how to best separate pedestrians from vehicles. The current road alignment and campground entrance road was designed in the 1930s and requires improvements with an increase in park visitation, volume and speed of vehicles along this segment of SR 14, and to address pedestrian/vehicle conflicts.
The first phase of this project includes a “predesign” report for submission to the Office of Financial Management in 2019. The report answers questions about the overall project, but focuses on identifying the preferred alternative for improvements at the entrance.
The predesign project schedule will be posted as dates for major milestones and meetings are finalized.
Summary of Project Description
The project proposes to address parking, traffic flow on SR 14, and pedestrian safety in the historic core of the park at the base of Beacon Rock. Many options will be considered in the alternatives phase of the predesign report and could include:
Lowering and realigning the highway near the Kueffler Road intersection to beyond the park facilities and parking area east of Beacon Rock
Closing or realigning the existing campground entrance at the SR 14 intersection
Construction of a roundabout system on SR 14 in the vicinity of the Beacon Rock historic area
Addressing pedestrian safety crossing SR 14 with a pedestrian bridge, tunnel, or some other manner not yet considered
Locating new vehicle parking areas separated from SR 14 at the base of Beacon Rock
The first of two public meetings was held June 5th by State Parks and our consultant WSP USA to present vehicular and pedestrian circulation options to the public. Parking capacity, roundabouts, and pedestrian safety in addition to compliance with Columbia Gorge regulations were among the most important issues discussed.