Unfortunately, roadwork will slow your drive to Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park beginning early next month and running through the summer.
Rehabilitation of 17.6 miles of road between the Nisqually Entrance and the developed area at Paradise is scheduled to begin on Monday, March 3, weather-permitting. Visitors traveling to the park via SR706 and the Nisqually Entrance, Monday-Friday should allow an extra hour round-trip, due to construction delays into early fall. Please drive cautiously in the construction corridor.
"The weather window for working on park roads is very narrow, limiting work to the milder weather months to avoid extreme weather conditions, such as excessive snow and freezing temperatures," park officials say. "While the construction and associated traffic delays present an inconvenience, the rehabilitation work will ensure the longevity of the only road accessing Paradise year-round."
The Nisqually to Paradise Road Rehabilitation Project is to be completed in two phases, each taking up to two years. Phase 1 includes the installation of in-road buried conduits and junction vaults, as well as improvements to the road's substructure and drainage between the Nisqually Entrance and Longmire. This year's work will also include paving and substructure work on Ricksecker Point Loop Road and Paradise Valley Road. Phase 2 should begin in 2016 at Longmire and end at Paradise in 2017.
The project is needed to address deteriorating road conditions that are due to many factors including abundant precipitation, structural and design deficiencies, large traffic volumes, and normal wear. The road work is designed to protect adjacent natural and cultural resources, will replace culverts to improve aquatic conditions and will preserve the character of the National Historic Landmark District.