EAST WENATCHEE — Work to straighten out an accident-prone set of curves in the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail got underway this week.
The new trail alignment just south of 32nd Place N.W. in East Wenatchee was cut on Monday and Tuesday and a detour trail started going in Thursday. About 500 feet of the trail will be impacted by the work.
Douglas County initiated the project after receiving a number of complaints from the public about the section of trail curves that wind around a brush-and-tree filled ravine.
“We’ve received a lot of accident reports from that area,” said Doug Bramlette, county engineer. “We’ve heard of leg injuries, a broken clavicle, lots of sprains and strains, a broken arm. Just this week, I saw new bike tire tracks that went into the gravel and down into the gully.”
He said people going too fast or unfamiliar with the corners in that section “miss the corners and end up in the trees or running into other people.”
He added that one of the sharp corners is difficult for recumbent bikes to get around smoothly.
Pipkin Construction was awarded the contract that includes re-aligning the trail, putting in new standardized mile markers around the entire Loop Trail and building an entry plaza at the east end of the pedestrian bridge. The entire contract is about $280,000.
The new trail will be cut in the new few weeks, depending on weather. But it won’t be paved until March, Bramlette said. So trail users should be cautious in that area. The trail surface will be gravel until it is paved.
Michelle McNiel: 664-7152