Damaged U.S. Forest Service roads include the popular Harts Pass Road No. 5400, which is blocked by a huge boulder and rock slide and probably won’t be open until mid- to late summer, the Forest Service said this week.
That means the Meadows Campground and Harts Pass trailhead won’t be accessible until the road is cleared, the Forest Service said.
Flooding that occurred last fall, over the winter and into the spring has damaged many roads across the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
“To date we’ve received reports of a few clogged culverts, road washouts, landslides, boulders on roads, and eroded bridge approaches,” said Forest Engineer Jason Peterson. “We won’t know the complete damage until the snow melts off all the roads. As reports of damage come in we are collecting and compiling the information to address damage when and where we can.”
Other local roads affected include:
• Black Canyon Road No. 4010 is damaged in several locations and will probably be closed through the summer.
• South Fork Gold Creek Road is closed.
• Benson Creek Road No. 4150 is not drivable.
Last weekend, road fill over one side of a culvert arch failed, resulting in a long sinkhole on West Chewuch Road No. 5160, causing a motorist to be stranded for a short time, the Forest Service said. The road was temporarily repaired and is again useable.
Roadbeds at higher elevations where the snow is just melting off are saturated and road shoulders are very soft and easily give way, the Forest Service said. When using forest roads, forest visitors are cautioned there could be road damage around the next bend so drive slowly and cautiously.
“I can’t stress enough that people need to take care when driving in the woods as the roads melt out,” Peterson said. “If the road is soft and wet, please don’t drive on it and avoid driving through snow drifts as conditions change with the warming temperatures throughout the day.”