Parking Expansion Underway on Mt Ashland

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MOUNT ASHLAND, Ore. — Bulldozers and dump trucks could be seen Wednesday where 101 parking spaces will be this winter. Ground was broken this week on a parking lot expansion project that Mount Ashland development director Rick Saul said has been a long time coming.

“On any given year, there’s about 24 days that we can actually just sell out because we just don’t have enough capacity during weekends and holidays,” said Saul.

A lack of parking spaces often times doesn’t stop eager skiiers and snowboarders who make their own parking alongside the road.

“This will give us enough capacity where we won’t have to park cars on the side of the road, which creates kind of an unsafe situation,” said Saul.

The excavation process will be fast paced and crews will be working everyday until it’s finished.

“We have two seven person crews that will be running 11 hour shifts each day, 7 days a week, for the next 5 weeks to get this project done,” said Saul.

About 21,000 cubic yards of soil and rock are being removed to make room for the parking spaces. That same soil and rock will be used to level off the sonnet run making it a more gradual slope for beginners.

“That run has now been widened and it’s going to be regraded so it’s more gentle and that’s going to be a much improved beginner expierence,” said Saul.

The city of Ashland has had representatives observing the project and will be keeping a close on when the soil is relocated. The parking lot expansion project costs about a quarter of a million dollars paid for with private donations, most of which has already been raised.