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Thursday, October 22, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Landslide blocks Porcupine Bay access possibly for months

UPDATED: Tue., April 4, 2017

Part of the roadway to Porcupine Bay was washed out in a landslide above Lake Roosevelt on April 2, 2017. (COURTESY OF LINCOLN COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS)
Part of the roadway to Porcupine Bay was washed out in a landslide above Lake Roosevelt on April 2, 2017. (COURTESY OF LINCOLN COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS)

A landslide that occurred Sunday north of Davenport will block access to Lake Roosevelt’s popular Porcupine Bay Campground and boat launch for weeks or even months, according to Lincoln County officials.

The Porcupine Bay Road that spurs off SR 25 is closed about 1 mile from the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area campground, said Rick Becker, county Public Works director.

“We don’t have a good enough assessment to give a time frame for repairs – it could be six weeks or six months,” he said Tuesday. “I do know that it will be expensive.”

Access to the Spokane Arm of Lake Roosevelt is still available nearby at Fort Spokane Campground and boat launch as well as the Two Rivers Marina on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

The major slide involving the Porcupine Bay Road was reported to the Lincoln County Sheriff around 9 a.m. Sunday morning, Becker said. No one was injured.

“There were some fishermen down the road from the slide,” he said. “Some summer homes are in there and I think one permanent resident. The washout took about half of the roadway and the guard rail.”

He said the slope was still actively sliding three days after the initial slide.

With one lane of the road still intact, there was room at the time to get the boaters out, Becker said.

“The people who live there can walk through at their own risk, so they can have a vehicle on both sides of the slide to go to and from their residences,” he said.

“Otherwise access to the area is pretty much permanently closed for the time being unless we can come up with some sort of detour, which doesn’t look good at this time.”

National Park Service staff said that with the road problems the campground and boat ramp had to be closed for lack of access. The boat launch is especially popular with walleye fishermen and later in summer with a wide range of boating enthusiasts.

“It’s one of our most popular campgrounds and our closest facility to Spokane,” said Dan Foster, Lake Roosevelt superintendent at the Park Service headquarters in Grand Coulee. “It’s always busy.”

Fishermen and other boaters can still access Lake Roosevelt south of Davenport by continuing north on SR 25 and driving to the National Park Service campground and launch at Fort Spokane.

Water access also is available by continuing over the bridge across the Spokane Arm to the Two Rivers RV Park and Marina operated by the Spokane Tribe.

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