Repaving About To Start On Chumstick Hwy. Improvement Project
Work is continuing on a portion of the Chumstick Highway south of Plain, where the roadway is scheduled to be repaved.
Crews will start the process this week on a mile-and-a-half section of the highway.
County spokesperson Jill FitzSimmons says the pavement being replaced is actually being recycled at the same location.
"They've taken that old pavement, and they've ground it, and then they've compressed it down, and then the paving layer is going to go over the top of it," said FitzSimmons. So, what they've done is, they've created a new solid base for the roadway."
Traffic is reduced to one lane during work hours.
FitzSimmons says repaving will be performed on Friday, in addition to the normal Monday through Thursday schedule.
"I know that kind of throws people off a little bit, but the contractors do have that option, especially if they want to stay on schedule or get something completed for the week," said FitzSimmons.
Re-paving should be complete sometime next week, when crews will start to restripe the roadway.
The mile-and-a-half stretch of Chumstick Highway has been in need of restoration for some time. The work is taking place about seven miles south of Plain.
In addition to repaving, the project has also included the retrofitting of existing bridge rails and installing transitions/terminals. The runoff area beside the roadway was also scheduled to be improved by removing or relocating above-ground obstacles and installing guardrails or flattening slopes where possible.
The $1.49 million project is mostly being funded by the Rural Arterial Program, which is a program of the state’s County Road Administration Board. The remaining cost will be paid for by county road funds.
The Chumstick Highway is the most well-traveled and high-profile roadway that is maintained by Chelan County, running between Leavenworth and Lake Wenatchee.
It is often mistaken for a state route, which it is not. The road was acquired by the county from the state when the Legislature decommissioned it in 1992.
It functions as the detour for US 2 in times of closure, which typically occurs during avalanche danger, rockslides or other weather-related events in the Tumwater Canyon.
Chumstick Highway is also a major link for residential, recreational, tourism and agricultural traffic. It connects to state parks, national forest lands and the communities of Leavenworth and Plain.