Repairs to the South Jetty at the mouth of the Columbia River will temporarily close parts of Fort Stevens State Park in Oregon starting April 19, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Tuesday.
The observation tower at Lot C will temporarily close. The lot and the bathrooms will remain open for public access, according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers press release. Entry to nearby dune trails will also be closed.
The contractor repairing the South Jetty will install fencing and signs to communicate construction danger and permissible public access. As construction continues landward, the public also will lose access to the Oregon Coast Trail from Lot C. The public will be able to access the coastal trail from Lot B.
Construction progress will determine the reopening date, according to the Corps.
The work is part of an ongoing jetty rehabilitation project slated to continue through 2023.
The Corps constructed the Mouth of the Columbia River jetty system between 1885 and 1939. The system consists of three rubble-mound jetties: North Jetty, South Jetty and Jetty A.
The jetties, which together total 9.7 miles in length, minimize navigation channel maintenance and make passage safer for vessels moving between the Pacific Ocean and the Columbia River.
The jetties are regularly pounded by ocean waves and many areas have been damaged over the years, according to the Corps. If a critical section of the jetties was breached during a large storm, sand could be deposited into the federal navigation channel, potentially shutting down commercial shipping in the Columbia River.