Update on Mt Rainier’s Carbon River Road

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The Carbon River Road at Mt. Rainier National Park suffered severe damage in November 2006 as a result of torrential rainfall and high winds. What follows is an update, directly from the National Park Service, on the status of the road repairs.

“The repair work that was recently accomplished was actually very limited stabilization work to hopefully be able to protect some portions of the road corridor that were not damaged during the November flooding ……… and to hopefully lessen future flood damage in some areas that were damaged. Due to Threatened and Endangered Species issues and the immense damage that occurred, we have very limited access to stabilize all the damaged sites.

The park carpenters are disassembling the historic Ipsut cabin, which will be protected and stored at Tahoma Woods until which time
we can identify an appropriate relocation site. We are clear that the current site is not sustainable, given that the complete Isput area is
located in the main deposition zone of the Carbon River (ie. just downstream of the Carbon River canyon where the river bed opens to
wider/flatter floodplain and deposits a significant amount of bedload)! Consequently, upstream of Isput, the Carbon River actively braids across the floodplain and severs the Isput Creek campground, as well as damages trails upstream of Isput and the roadway downstream!

This is a very dynamic area and a huge challenge to address its future! We will be developing a range of alternatives that will address this situation this winter and be requesting public input.”

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