Richland is encouraging Badger Mountain hikers to remain patient as it works with engineers to rebuild steps up a particularly steep stretch of hillside.
The city closed the path leading out of Badger Mountain Trailhead Park in south Richland on April 25 while a contractor, Allstar Construction Group of Richland, worked to replace the uneven basalt steps with more even ones.
The $40,000 project unexpectedly halted after Allstar installed the contracted 70 steps.
But the work left a gap leading out of the trailhead parking lot near Queensgate Drive and White Bluffs Street.
The city blamed unforeseen conditions and a steep slope for the unexpected snag.
In an update, the city said it has hired a landscape architect to assess the situation and is working on a design on the expectation that it will restart construction.
The steps won’t be built before fall.
The city advises hikers to ignore the impulse to scramble past the gap and instead use what it calls the bypass trail, a gentler route that adds roughly a quarter of a mile to the popular trek.
“Progress has been made and we encourage people to continue to use alternate access points,” spokeswoman Hollie Logan said.