Beginning Tuesday, construction crews will be working near the Apple Capital Loop Trail in Douglas County adjacent to the Odabashian Bridge.
Called the Coyote Dunes Natural Area, the property is between the loop trail and the Columbia River.
Chelan County PUD said the crews will be building a small gravel access trail for emergency responders; putting up natural barriers to encourage people to stay on the trails; and putting up interpretive signs about the area’s cultural history.
The PUD purchased the 26-acre property, which stretches for almost a mile, in 2017.
Coyote Dunes Natural Area features rolling sand dunes but does not include the nearby beach and much of the shoreline, which is owned by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
The PUD said the project is expected to continue until April 20.
“The Loop Trail is expected to remain open for the duration of the project, but trail users can expect to see some vehicular traffic associated with construction,” the PUD said in a press release.
The property was purchased from the state Department of Transportation, which owned much of the land along the river for decades as part of a plan for a new highway that was eventually scrapped.
Even though the land is in Douglas County it is within Chelan PUD’s Rock Island Hydro Project boundary.
The barriers being built along the trails will include boulders and other natural materials designed to keep people from walking off the trail and potentially harming protected plant species and habitat, the PUD said.