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Steamboat campground construction still delayed


Thirty new campsites at Steamboat Rock State Park will still have to wait to become a reality, with no set date for construction to resume. Currently the area for the new campsites is just a big, empty lot of sand, just as it was left in the fall of 2016.

The $2.5-million-dollar project was delayed last fall because of the expiration then of the 2010 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the State Parks, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Washington State Department of Archaeology Historic Preservation (DAHP), and the Colville Confederated Tribes.

A new MOA is in the works, the State Parks Department and the Bureau of Reclamation confirmed, the purpose of which is to sort out the details of the project, as well as to ensure that there are no negative environmental or historical impacts from the construction of the project. State Parks was unable to release details on the negotiation process, according to Virginia Peters of their communications department.

The 30 new campsites will be located near the day-use and boat-launch areas, north of the current camping areas, and will have a full bathroom facility built there as well.

When the project is finished, Steamboat Rock State Park will have 193 units in the main campground area, 12 more accessible by boat, and another 44 spots at off-site locations.

The park receives an estimated 500,000 annual visitors, and the campsites are regularly all booked up during the main camping season, necessitating the additional campsites to help meet the demand of people wanting to enjoy the park.

“It’s frustrating,” said Jerry Wesslen of Wesslen Construction in Spokane, who is building the project. “We were ready to work through the winter. I know it’s frustrating for everybody.”

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