WENATCHEE — Saddle Rock will be closed from the trailhead to the top starting Sept. 16 as crews begin removing waste rock piles.

Before the city of Wenatchee bought the property in 2011, it was used for mining. Environmental assessments indicated elevated arsenic levels.

City Capital Project Manager Charlotte Mitchell said four waste rock piles will be removed in the project's first phase, which should be completed by the end of November. The second phase will begin next summer to remove more piles.

Mitchell said crews will start at the lower half and work their way up to the steeper, more eroded half.

"We'll be doing a little bit of road building in a section just to get to the piles, but then we will restore the side slopes," she said. "You really won't notice many changes to the trail for this phase, but the second phase, we're talking about realigning a portion of that trail. ... There's some very deep erosion in that really steep run up the hill, so we're going to try to reroute the trail around that."

That's both to allow for construction vehicles and to make the trail more sustainable, she said.

During construction, hikers can still access Saddle Rock on the Jacobson Preserve side. The Dry Gulch trail will also be open.

"We're really asking people to stay out of (the other side) for their own safety and for the safety of the construction workers," Mitchell said.

The city has contracts of $262,374 with GeoEngineers and $299,345 with DW Excavating for the first phase of the project. A $900,000 Model Toxics Control Act grant is going toward this phase.

Bridget Mire: 665-1179

mire@wenatcheeworld.com or

on Twitter @bridget_mire