The Sterling Highway crosses the Kenai River near the Russian River Campground on March 15, 2020 near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
The Sterling Highway crosses the Kenai River near the Russian River Campground on March 15, 2020, near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

The Sterling Highway crosses the Kenai River near the Russian River Campground on March 15, 2020 near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion) The Sterling Highway crosses the Kenai River near the Russian River Campground on March 15, 2020, near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

1-year Russian River Campground closure starts Aug. 15

The closure will allow extensive construction work to take place

The Russian River Campground will close for nearly a year for reconstruction work beginning on Aug. 15. The U.S. Forest Service offered new details on the construction work in a Thursday news release.

Resurfacing and reinforcement work will occur along about 1 mile of the Russian River Campground Road, at about Milepost 53 of the Sterling Highway. During construction, the campground will be closed to the public. That includes closures to vehicles and pedestrians, as well as the unavailability of campground reservations on recreation.gov.

Work along the campground access road will include widening and rebuilding the road with the goal of increasing its stability and resistance to frost heaves, as well as making it safer for cars, RVs and people. In the same area, the existing road shoulder will be widened and get new striping, a new guardrail and pedestrian fencing.

Additionally, crews will work to reinforce parts of the hillside along the Kenai River with the goal of making them less prone to landslides and erosion.

“Reducing the long-term threat of erosion and landslides is essential to preserving the water quality for healthy salmon spawning and rearing in the Russian and Kenai Rivers,” the U.S. Forest Service said in a release.

Restrictions/limitations

Russian River Campground: Closed from Aug. 15, 2022, to June 1, 2023. No campground reservations will be available during construction, and work is expected to continue in August 2023.

Sport fishing access: Not available from the Anglers Trail or White Trail during closure.

Russian Lakes Trail: Not accessible from the Russian River Campground Road during construction.

Barber, Aspen Flats and Upper Russian public use cabins: Not accessible from Lower Russian Lakes Trail during construction closure. Cabins can still be accessed via Snug Harbor Road, the Upper Russian Lakes trailhead or floatplane.

Hunting access: Not available from the Russian Lakes Trailhead via the Russian River Campground during construction closure.

More information about the closure can be found at fs.usda.gov/chugach.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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