Work on Crater Lake Rim Road Shows Fast Progress
November 17, 1935
The arrival of Winter has brought to a close road construction activities which has been underway in the park during the past Summer. The Summer witnessed the entire completion of approximately 30 per cent of the rim road and nearly 50 per cent of the remainder.
Of particular interest in park road construction is the hard surfacing of the rim road from the lodge to the North Entrance Ranger Station, a distance of six miles, offering Summer time visitors boulevard driving along the edge of Crater Lake. The Rim Area, extending for a quarter of a mile from the lodge to the cafeteria, has been entirely hard surfaced, replacing a dusty and rock road and an unsurfaced park area in front of the cafeteria.
Log guard rails, which had been in use for several years, were replaced by attractive stone curbings also used in connection with promenade walks the entire length of the Rim Area, where considerable landscaping was also completed during the season.
A review of road construction by John R. Sargent, resident engineer, Federal Bureau of Public Roads, revealed that 400 men were employed in the park during the Summer by contractors on hard surfacing and grading projects. On the average $100,000 per month for three months was expended on construction work.
The J. C. Compton Contracting Company of McMinnville, Ore., completed 18 miles of hard surfacing, of which four miles is located on the east entrance road leading to Kerr Notch and 14 miles, six are part of the rim road and eight the regular north entrance to Diamond Lake and The Dalles-California Highway.
Extending from the North Entrance Ranger Station to “The Wineglass,” a 13-mile unit of the rim road was graded last Summer by the Van der Hellen-Pierson and Dunn & Raker contractors, and will undoubtedly be ready for graveling next year. A five-mile unit from “The Wineglass” to Cloudcap was graded during the Summer. Joining with two short grading contracts to Kerr Notch, handled by local contractors.
This leaves only one unit of the rim road not under construction and it is possible activity on this may start next year. It is probable six years will elapse before the road will be entirely completed, providing motorists with one of the most unusual and scenic drives in the world.
During the travel season, motor caravans are daily features, leaving the Sinnott Memorial Observation Station each morning at 8:15 under the guidance of a ranger naturalist. Stops are made at eight principal observation points along the way, where the geologic value and scenic importance of the different views are explained. The observation points have parking accommodations for a minimum of 50 autos. Visitors may also make their own drives around the rim and when the road is entirely completed, with fine printed explanatory information available at each stop.
The new rim road, when completed, will be devoid of steep grades or sharp curves, but yet it has not been constructed as a super-highway on which motorists would be apt to speed around the lake and pass by scenes of beauty in their rush to make the lake circuit.
Of additional interest is the fact that the rim road is being constructed without marring the natural beauty of the area or disturbing the primitiveness of any portion of the drive. The road is not visible from any point around the rim. Road cuts, which would have been unpleasing to the eye, were landscaped by the Branch of Plans and Designs of the National Park Service, by restoring sod to the cut and by the planting of trees.