Good weather has allowed crews to complete repairs a week early, allowing Olympic National Park to reopen Hurricane Ridge Road Saturday.
As long as weather cooperates, the road will reopen Saturday at 9 a.m., park officials just announced. Entrance fees will be waived for all visitors traveling to the ridge Saturday and Sunday.
The road has been closed since Jan. 18 when a slope below the roadway slid downhill, taking with it most of both travel lanes along a 100-foot long section of road.
Port Angeles contractor Bruch & Bruch Construction, Inc., began repairs Jan. 22. The total cost of the repair work was $2.17 millio, below the intial estimated of $2.8 million.
Before actual repairs could begin, the company first removed more than 2,000 truckloads of the fine-grained fill that led to the slope failure and installed a larger culvert. Once the culvert was in place, they brought in over 1,300 truckloads of rock and gravel to create a more stable foundation for the road.
The Hurricane Ridge Ski Area will be open this weekend, weather permitting, with both the beginner and intermediate rope tows in operation. The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center information desk will be staffed and a guided snowshoe walk will be offered at 2 p.m. Anyone interested in participating in the snowshoe walk should sign up in advance at the information desk.
Not all services will be available. The Hurricane Ridge snack bar and ski shop will be closed this weekend, and ski or snowshoe rentals will not be available. These services are scheduled to reopen the weekend of March 6-7.
Weather permitting, Hurricane Ridge Road is open Friday through Sunday each week during the winter; the downhill ski area and snack bar/ski shop are scheduled to be open Saturdays and Sundays.