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Posted on: August 28, 2019

Learn more about plans to improve safety at Beacon Rock - SR 14 intersection

State Parks staff will present conceptual design at public meeting

OLYMPIA – Aug. 28, 2019 – Washington State Parks invites the public to learn more about a conceptual design to address safety and access on the section of State Route 14 running through Beacon Rock State Park. The area is between mile posts 34.7 and 35 at the base of Beacon Rock in the Columbia Gorge.

State Parks planners and consultants from an engineering firm will present the design concept at a meeting from 6 – 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, at Hegewald Auditorium, 710 SW Rock Creek Drive, Stevenson. (Driving directions.) At the meeting, the public can ask questions about the project proposal and provide comments.

The need for a safer intersection
The current entrance was designed and built back in the 1930s. This project seeks to modernize the entrance of the park to address higher vehicle speeds and accommodate pedestrian crossings. The conceptual design includes the following key elements:   

  • Improvements to the existing vehicle entrance to the campground.
  • A roundabout at Kueffler Road.
  • Locating a new parking away from SR 14.
  • New welcome center building at the entrance parking lot.
  • Safe pedestrian crossing, either on grade with SR 14 or as a pedestrian tunnel near the roundabout.
  • Land acquisition adjacent to SR 14.
  • Compliance with the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area Management Plan.

Improving safety along SR 14 was indicated as an important management approach in the Classification and Management Planning (CAMP) process for Beacon Rock State Park.

This is the second meeting in the public process to develop a conceptual design. The first meeting was held May 15.

Next steps
The first phase of improving safety along SR 14 involves submitting a predesign report this fall to the Office of Financial Management (OFM). OFM will determine if the project proposal meets key criteria and if it should be included in a capital budget request to the Washington State Legislature for 2021-23 budget cycle.

If the proposal is included in the capital budget request, the next steps are to apply for legislative funding for design and permitting, followed by funding for construction. These steps may be accomplished in phases. The entire funding process, from concept to construction, would occur over several state budget cycles.

People also can comment online at parks.state.wa.us/1142/Beacon-Rock-Entrance-Road-Realignment. For more information about this project, contact Michael Hankinson, Parks Planner, at (360) 725-9756 or Michael.hankinson@parks.wa.gov.

About Beacon Rock State Park
Beacon Rock State Park is a 4,464-acre, year-round camping park located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Beacon Rock itself is the core of an ancient volcano. The park includes 9,500 feet of freshwater shoreline on the Columbia River and more than 26 miles of roads and trails open to hiking, mountain biking and equestrian use. For more information about the park, visit parks.state.wa.us/474/Beacon-Rock

News media contacts:
Toni Droscher, Communications Office, (360) 902-8604
Michael Hankinson, Parks Planner, (360) 725-9756.
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About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.

News release number: 19-068

 

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