Olympic Hot Springs Road Geotechnical Investigation/EA
Since the recent removal of the Glines Canyon Dam, the Elwha River has been in a state of flux. Sediment from the former Lake Mills continues to aggrade the river. During fall, winter, and spring storm events and melt-off, the river has been overflowing into the adjacent floodplain and damaging the Olympic Hot Springs Road, leading to repeated closures and expensive repairs. The National Park Service, in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration Western Federal Lands Highway Division, need to conduct a geotechnical investigation to collect information on the subsurface conditions of Olympic Hot Springs Road and an area being considered for a potential road relocation.
In order to inform the analysis for a potential road relocation out of the floodplain, a geotechnical investigation will determine the engineering feasibility of a new location within the forested bench near the current road. An environmental assessment (EA) is required when considering a geotechnical investigation in this location due to the potential impacts on the human environment and the area is not previously disturbed.
The park's purpose in taking action is to assess subsurface conditions of the Olympic Hot Springs Road. This action would determine the feasibility of the potential relocation of a portion of the road outside of the floodplain. The analysis of a potential relocation would occur in a subsequent environmental assessment that would address long-term planning for the Olympic Hot Springs Road.
ONP Chief of Facilities Maintenance
ONP Planning & Compliance Lead