WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) announced that the US Forest Service will receive future federal funding to make Staircase Road, a key access point in Mason County to Lake Cushman and Olympic National Park, more safe and reliable for homeowners and visitors. The Federal Highway Administration has approved an award to the US Forest Service (USFS) of up to $2.5 million to make long-term improvements to Staircase Road under the Federal Lands Transportation Program.
Currently, travelers and residents face dusty driving conditions on this stretch of road, particularly in the dry summer months. For dozens of homeowners, this is the only way to access their homes. The award will go toward a contract to survey, design, and make permanent improvements to the road. In the short term, Tacoma Public Utilities, the USFS, and Mason County are working together on measures to reduce dust while this work is being completed. Permanent work on this road is scheduled to begin in 2018.
“This is great news for folks in Mason County,” said Kilmer. “We now have a path forward for residents and visitors to make it easier for people to get home or to enjoy their favorite hike. With this award we can work toward addressing this problem and make the road safer while ensuring that we reduce impacts on Lake Cushman and the surrounding environment.”
“An upgrade of the Staircase Road will address public safety concerns and provide greater community enjoyment of these very special places,” said Hood Canal District Ranger Dean Yoshina.
The Federal Lands Transportation Program seeks to improve transportation networks overseen by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and other federal agencies with land management responsibilities. Funding for this program was secured in the recent reauthorization of the federal transportation bill, also known as the FAST Act.