Ecola State Park, continuing to battle damage by active landslides and winter storms, will be closed for road repairs Tuesday.
Park staff have been dealing with slides since the park’s founding, but have dealt with two main spots on Ecola Park Road in recent years. Built on top of slides, Ecola Park Road continues to shift and erode, issues made worse by heavy traffic into the popular park and winter storms. Last year, the park closed in April for several weeks because of damage to the entrance road and again in August for culvert work.
Repair work set to begin Tuesday will focus on three separate sections of Ecola Park Road. Bob McEwan Construction of Seaside will remove additional asphalt on a previously-graveled area and improve slope transition and gravel compaction. The work is expected to cost $8,500, according to Chris Havel, assistant director for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
The park will reopen Feb. 16 at 8 a.m.
Ecola State Park as well as Nehalem Bay and Oswald West state parks are part of the state’s Nehalem Bay Management unit and take a beating most winters. This winter, extreme high tides — called king tides — and storms damaged beach access points at Hug Point and Arcadia Beach.
“In general Ecola held up pretty well,” Park Manager Ben Cox said. Some trails have seen continued erosion, but nothing out of the ordinary, he said. Certainly nothing like the landslide that washed out a hiking trail from Ecola Point to Indian Beach in 2016.
The trail remains closed with signs asking hikers to stay off the slide area. Oregon State Parks and Recreation will likely advertise a trail rebuild project and begin gathering bids from contractors in the spring, Cox said.