Pedestrian tunnel is expected to open this weekend

Fence could be removed by Friday

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Individuals will soon be able to walk, run and bicycle through the Washougal pedestrian tunnel.

Mayor Sean Guard said during last night’s City Council workshop the goal is to have the fence outside the tunnel removed by Friday. The $2.58 million project, built under state Route 14 and over a Corps of Engineers levee, will link Pendleton Way to Steamboat Landing. The tunnel is being paid for by federal grants.

Suzanne Bachelder, parks, cemetery and building facilities manager for Washougal, has said it would be beneficial to get to the Columbia River without having to walk through the intersection at SR14 and 15th Street.

Last year, the Washougal City Council approved an easement agreement with Pendleton Woolen Mills, which provides the city and the public access to the tunnel and trail system.

Seven basalt stones, featuring petroglyphs, have been bolted to the tunnel wall. The selection of the images involved artist Rex Ziak, archaeologist Mike Taylor, city staff and several students from Washougal High School.

Grand opening festivities for the tunnel are planned for Saturday, Aug. 14, in conjunction with the Two Rivers Heritage Museum Heritage Day and Ice Cream Social, as well as the Washougal Lions Club Cruise-in.