Central Oregon DailyExpect limited access at Smith Rock for part of summer due to...

Expect limited access at Smith Rock for part of summer due to construction

Expect limited access at Smith Rock for part of summer due to construction

Smith Rock Pedestrian Bridge

Smith Rock State Park is putting in a new, wider pedestrian bridge in mid-to-late summer 2023. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. says this means people visiting the park should expect no bridge access for up to four weeks.

State Parks says the exact timing of the work will depend on nesting season and streamflow. There will be no temporary bridge put in place during the work.

“We know that this closure will have an impact on our park users, but our current footbridge must be replaced,” said Park Manager Matt Davey in a statement.

The parks department is asking people to avoid wading across the river due to habitat and safety concerns. Specifically:

  • Construction activity and noise near active nests is not permissible during raptor nesting season, which runs through Aug. 1. The work can begin before Aug. 1 if nests have fledged or failed.
  • The in-water work period for the Crooked River is July 1 through August 15.  This might be extended past Aug. 15 in coordination with other agencies if needed and allowed.

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The goal is to complete as much of the bridge construction as possible between Aug. 1 and Aug. 15.

 

The old bridge was built nearly 50 years ago and reconstructed about 30 years ago. The new bridge will measure 8 feet wide, about 2 feet wider than the current bridge, and better accommodate visitors and first responders during the park’s frequent rescue operations. the parks department said.

  • Trails that will stay open include: Rim Rock Trail, Homestead Trail, Rope-de-Dope Trail, Canyon Trail and North Point loop
  • Climbing areas accessible during construction include: North Point area (accessible from the Homestead and North Point loop trails), Rope-de-Dope boulder (accessible from the Rope-de-Dope trail and Canyon Trail) and The Lower Gorge (Climber Access routes)

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