Public Works

Chumstick Highway Phase V

Chumstick Highway Phase V

Project Update

Posted Sept. 15: Paving of the project area has wrapped up. The week of Sept. 18, the contractor will be striping the project area and working on bridge joints. During working hours, the road will be at one lane, with flaggers directing traffic. A pilot car also may lead motorists through the work area. Plan for minor traffic delays, or avoid the area if you can. Outside working hours, the roadway will be at two lanes. 




While some people incorrectly presume the Chumstick Highway is a state route, it is a county road. The road was acquired by the county from the state when the Legislature decommissioned it in 1992. Today the roadway, located between Leavenworth and Lake Wenatchee, is one of the county’s most traveled roads. Chumstick Highway is a vital link that serves residential, recreational, tourism and agricultural traffic and leads to state parks, national forest lands and the communities of Leavenworth and Plain. It is also used as the detour for US 2 in times of closure, which typically occurs during avalanche danger, rock slides or other weather-related events in the Tumwater Canyon.

This project is the fifth phase of planned Chumstick Highway improvements. The previous phase, constructed in 2014, ended at milepost 5.15. The project’s overall primary purpose is to prevent further deterioration of the existing roadway, which has been damaged from poor drainage and freeze-thaw cycles.


Project Description & Benefits

The county will grind and pave the existing roadway cross section from milepost 5.15 to milepost 6.60 (starting at the end of the previous phase constructed in 2014 and ending just north of the Chumstick Bridge No. 4, or about 7 miles south of Plain). The project’s primary purpose is to prevent further deterioration of the existing roadway and maintain it at the least possible lifecycle cost.

In addition to preserving the pavement structure, the project also includes retrofitting existing bridge rails and installing transitions/terminals and addressing other safety improvements. The clear zone will be improved by removing or relocating above-ground obstacles where feasible, beveling culvert ends, and installing guardrail or flattening slopes where warranted.

As a preservation project, there are no anticipated modifications to the roadway alignment. The road’s existing 11-foot lanes and 2.5-foot shoulders also will be maintained; they will not be widened.


Construction Schedule

Chelan County commissioners on July 20 awarded a $1.49 million construction contract to Smith Excavation. Construction is expected to begin by August 7. The project is expected to require 25 working days. Traffic impacts will include one-lane closures with a pilot car throughout the project. Plan for up to 20-minute traffic delays.



The project will cost about $1.1 million. Most of the project is being paid for by a nearly $1 million grant from the Rural Arterial Program, a program of the state’s County Road Administration Board. The remaining cost will be paid for by county road funds.


Frequently Asked Questions


No. This project calls for grinding and paving the existing roadway to create smoother traveling lanes. The road’s alignment and width will not be changed.

Access to your property, via an approved/permitted driveway will be maintained at all times. Upon completion of the project, all approved/permitted driveways will be paved a distance of up to 10 feet from the edge of the Chumstick Highway pavement.  The county will not be installing culverts across driveways that are required to have culverts.

Approved mailbox locations consist of two elements: the mailbox and the post the mailbox is attached to. Mailboxes and posts that are within the road clearzone and do not meet crash-safety standards will need to be replaced or relocated outside the clearzone. The county will install a new post that meets crash-safety standards and relocate your mailbox to the new post as long as your current mailbox meets safety standards, too. If your mailbox does not meet safety standards, you will need to attach an approved mailbox to the new post. See Mailbox Type 1 and Mailbox Type 2 for approved mailbox types.

Yes, several large trees that are within the road clearzone and county right of way will be removed.

Posted: 05/01/2023 04:08 PM
Last Updated: 09/15/2023 10:47 AM

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Public Works Calendar

Upcoming events and schedules at the county!

  • 28
    Sep 2023
    09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

    Online auction for surplus equipment

    Posted by: Public Works

    Surplus equipment from Chelan County Public Works will be included in an online auction on Sept. 28.

    Virtual Event