The tunnel through Snoqualmie Pass on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail will be reopened in July to bicyclists and hikers after safety issues prompted its closure two years ago, according to the contractor.
The Jacobs Associates provided design and repair work on the 2.3-mile long tunnel that was among five closed on the cross-state trail in January 2009 due to leaking water and falling debris (see picture at left).
Closure of Snoqualmie Tunnel in the Iron Horse State Park proved a huge disappointment to bicyclists, hikers and equestrians who used it as a traffic-free path linking western and eastern Washington.
Any detours over the pass required several miles of travel on Interstate 90.
The announcement about the reopening was published in the Jacobs Associates 2nd quarter newsletter. It says the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission plans to reopen the tunnel to the public on July 5.
The engineering firm said the work was put on a fast-track for the second half of 2010 because of funding issues, but crews couldn't get back in to complete the job because of snow access and freezing temperatures.
Crews filled cracks in the tunnel wall and used a welded wire mat overlay where the wall had deteriorated.
The tunnel was built between 1910 and 1914 as part of the Milwaukee Railroad. The railroad was abandoned in 1980, and the state acquired it and converted it into a rail-trail.
Hat tip to the kind reader who had seen the Jacobs Associates newsletter and told me about the opening.
See “Trekkers bike and hike the Mountains to Sound Greenway this week,” July 3, 2011