Rail-Trail Surface Improved Along Curlew Lake

Project improves school access, recreation

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Curlew Job Corps students and foreman Rick Baum stand with the paver on loan from Rebecca Baker.

The Ferry County Rail Trail is rolling into Phase 3. In May an eight-foot-wide smooth, firm and very user friendly surface made of crusher fines was spread and compacted on 2.3 miles of the trail along the west side of Curlew Lake. The new surfacing connects to improvements made just last summer for a total of 5.5 miles.

A $198,000 Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) non-motorized trail grant made the new surfacing possible. Also included in the phase 3 plan are surface improvements to approximately 2 miles of rail-trail from Lundimo Meadow Road to the Curlew School, then north along the majestic Kettle River ending at the tunnel. These improvements, including a new vault toilet at the Black’s Beach Trailhead, are scheduled for later this summer.

Curlew Job Corps workers on the trail.

Ferry County Rail Trail Vice President and retired Echo Bay Mines geologist Keith Bell are pictured mixing up the new surface for the trail. The formula is 3/8 minus crusher fines with 10% water added. Volunteers and Curlew Job Corps students applied the material to the surface of the trail (using the paver) and then used a vibrating roller to compact it. Once dry it creates a firm and smooth ADA / user-friendly surface.

The RCO grant required a 50% match that was met through generously donated materials from Kinross Gold Corp., transportation of materials by ACI Northwest Inc., equipment use from Stott’s Construction, and volunteer hours from Curlew Job Corps students, Ferry County Rail Trail Partners (FCRTP) as well as many other local stakeholders and trail advocates.

Bob Whittaker, President of the FCRTP, said, “Now that the full six-mile length of trail next to Curlew Lake is improved you can see the greater potential to connect the Lake to the town of Republic. And how sweet is it that come this fall the Curlew School will have a new, safe, off-highway route to the center of town and beyond?”

Bobbi Weller, Chair of the County’s Rail Corridor Committee and an adjacent landowner to the trail, commented, “It is so wonderful to see more people on the trail. It goes to show just how important it is to win these trail grants.”

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This blog post and photos came from the Ferry County Rail-Trail Partners.

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