Walla Walla, WA -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District (Corps) will be repaving Reservoir Road at Mill Creek beginning Aug. 3.
This construction will result in traffic control and road closure to Bennington Lake. There will also be shorter closures leading up to the construction, which will occur on July 29 and 30 during working hours for the Mill Creek Project to complete some preparatory work.
Visitors should be aware that construction will result in delays to access the project office parking area. Driving access to Bennington Lake will be unavailable. In addition to the road work, the division works fish ladder replacement construction is still ongoing and has reduced parking capacity at the project office parking lot. Horseback riders in particular will not have access to park with their trailers during the construction. The nearest available parking to the Bennington Lake area will be either Rooks Park or the Walla Walla Community College Athletic Fields parking lot.
The repaving project will involve grinding down the old road surface, which will then become the base underneath newly placed asphalt. Improvements include the elimination of pot holes and crumbing roads surfaces, replacing speed bumps with wider speed humps that better accommodate trailers, and additional stop signs for increased safety at the project office turn off.
The work to repaving project amounted to a $999,000.00 contract that was awarded to Central Washington Asphalt, which is based out of Milton-Freewater, Oregon.
Additional construction projects taking place over the summer at Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake include replacing the downstream fish ladder at the first division works, which is already underway and has closed access to the yellow footbridge over Mill Creek and detoured part of the paved levee trail; Mill Creek Dam rehabilitation, which will result in the closure of portions of Rooks Park; closure of the Mill Creek Project parking lot for maintenance building construction; and restroom installation at Bennington Lake, which will result in the closure of the Bennington Lake parking lot. Almost every aspect of the Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake area will be affected by temporary closures throughout the summer.
“It is really great that we are getting so much work accomplished this summer. The added benefit of getting people back to work in these unprecedented times will have positive impact well beyond the boundaries of Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake. Unfortunately the timing of the closures happens to be in the same year as closures due to flooding followed by restrictions from COVID-19. Our biggest mission this summer will be to keep visitors informed of the various closure to reduce frustrations people may be feeling about not being able to visit one of the busiest and appreciated recreation areas in the vicinity,” Natural Resources Specialist Jeremy Nguyen said.
More information about upcoming construction will be released once contracts are finalized. More information can also be found on the Mill Creek Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/millcreekdam/.
Release no. 20-065