WENATCHEE — Saddle Rock trails are set to reopen next week as crews finish the first phase of removing waste rock piles.
The popular hiking location is slated to open on Wednesday. It has been closed from the trailhead to the top since Sept. 16.
Before the city of Wenatchee bought the property in 2011, it was used for mining. Environmental assessments indicated elevated arsenic levels, which led to the remediation project.
Crews removed waste rock from four areas on the lower part of Saddle Rock, said Dave Erickson, Wenatchee’s parks, recreation and cultural services director. The areas were then hydroseeded with native grasses and a fence was installed around them.
Hydroseed is sprayed over an area with mulch and forms a crust to protect from erosion, Erickson said. He asked people to stay out of those areas to help the grasses grow.
State Department of Ecology grants are going toward the project. The city entered contracts of $262,374 with GeoEngineers and $299,345 with DW Excavating for the first phase.
Erickson said the second phase will involve removing waste rock on the upper part of Saddle Rock, trailwork, planting native vegetation, and possibly installing benches and interpretive displays. Construction should run from late summer through fall next year.
Trails on the lower part were used for construction vehicles and have not yet been restored, Erickson said. They will again be used for construction vehicles in the second phase of the project.