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SR9 Harvey Field
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SR9 Mid Valley
SR9 Mid Valley
SR9 Lowell-Larimer Rd.
SR9 Lowell-Larimer Rd.
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SR9 Cathcart Way
SR9 152nd St. SE
SR9 152nd St. SE
SR9 164th St. SE
SR9 164th St. SE
SR9 Marsh Rd.
SR9 Looking South @ US2
SR9 Looking South @ US2
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SR9 Looking North @ US2
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US2 @ SR204
US2 / SR204 Interchange
I-405 @ SR522
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I-405 @ NE 160th
I-405 @ 160th


Published: Saturday, May 13, 2017
Cascades Highway reopening planned for May 16    Print 

Cascades Highway reopening planned for May 16

It seemed like the winter weather might never end after record rain and snow pounded the state and delayed the reopening of State Route 20/North Cascades Highway. Finally, warmer temperatures, warm rain and sun arrived and should allow crews to reopen the road well ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

With a lot of long days, and help from the weather, Washington State Department of Transportation crews turned eight weeks of work into less than six. Crews are finishing final repairs and are planning to open the highway for the summer at 11 a.m., Tuesday, May 16.

“Not being able to start clearing until April 10 meant we couldn’t be open for the beginning of fishing season or Winthrop’s ‘49er Days Festival which we never like to happen,” said Don Becker, WSDOT’s maintenance supervisor in Twisp. “Crews always had a Memorial Day weekend opening as a goal, despite the estimates that told us June. Luckily, in the end, the weather was finally on our side.”

The warm weather helped melt some of the snow, but those conditions also increased the avalanche risk. Safety is WSDOT’s top priority and crews used spotters and safety ditches in the snow to keep themselves protected during clearing. Some chutes still have snow, but rain over the next few days is expected to cause them to slide and get cleaned up before the highway opens.

The clearing process
WSDOT crews started clearing back on Monday, April 10. Working from both sides, crews not only clear snow, they also repair pavement, signs and guardrails plus clear culverts and ditches of debris to ensure the highway is safe before it reopens.

This year’s reopening is the third latest. You have to go back to June 14, 1974 to find the only time crews weren’t able to get this stretch open before the end of May.

Open for driving and recreation
Once the SR 20/North Cascade Highway gates open at milepost 134 and 171, the highway will remain open through the summer and into fall. Crews will close it when conditions in avalanche chutes become unsafe, usually a week or so before or after Thanksgiving.

When the highway is closed; skiers, backpackers, snowmobilers and other adventurers are welcome to use the closed stretch at their own risk. When crews are working on clearing, the area is closed Monday through Thursday.

It seemed like the winter weather might never end after record rain and snow pounded the state and delayed the reopening of State Route 20/North Cascades Highway. Finally, warmer temperatures, warm rain and sun arrived and should allow crews to reopen the road well ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

 

With a lot of long days, and help from the weather, Washington State Department of Transportation crews turned eight weeks of work into less than six. Crews are finishing final repairs and are planning to open the highway for the summer at 11 a.m., Tuesday, May 16.

 

“Not being able to start clearing until April 10 meant we couldn’t be open for the beginning of fishing season or Winthrop’s ‘49er Days Festival which we never like to happen,” said Don Becker, WSDOT’s maintenance supervisor in Twisp. “Crews always had a Memorial Day weekend opening as a goal, despite the estimates that told us June. Luckily, in the end, the weather was finally on our side.”

 

The warm weather helped melt some of the snow, but those conditions also increased the avalanche risk. Safety is WSDOT’s top priority and crews used spotters and safety ditches in the snow to keep themselves protected during clearing. Some chutes still have snow, but rain over the next few days is expected to cause them to slide and get cleaned up before the highway opens.

 

The clearing process

WSDOT crews started clearing back on Monday, April 10. Working from both sides, crews not only clear snow, they also repair pavement, signs and guardrails plus clear culverts and ditches of debris to ensure the highway is safe before it reopens.

 

This year’s reopening is the third latest. You have to go back to June 14, 1974 to find the only time crews weren’t able to get this stretch open before the end of May.

 

Open for driving and recreation

Once the SR 20/North Cascade Highway gates open at milepost 134 and 171, the highway will remain open through the summer and into fall. Crews will close it when conditions in avalanche chutes become unsafe, usually a week or so before or after Thanksgiving.

 

When the highway is closed; skiers, backpackers, snowmobilers and other adventurers are welcome to use the closed stretch at their own risk. When crews are working on clearing, the area is closed Monday through Thursday.


Sunday, February 12, 2017
Area Road Improvement Projects Area Road Improvement Projects
Open House for Three Unincorporated Mill Creek/Bothell Area Road Improvement Projects

Thursday, December 22, 2016
I-5 single lane near Bellingham I-5 single lane near Bellingham
Northbound I-5 reduced to a single lane near Bellingham for emergency rock removal work

Wednesday, November 09, 2016
Washington State Ferries salutes our veterans Washington State Ferries salutes our veterans
Moment of silence to be observed on all ferries Friday

Thursday, June 09, 2016
Final weekend of Sno-Co-Squeeze Final weekend of Sno-Co-Squeeze
The final weekend of lane reductions for expansion joint replacement work begins Friday night, June 10

Friday, May 13, 2016
Commission to adopt toll rates Commission to adopt toll rates
State Transportation Commission to adopt toll rates, name portions of state highways

Monday, April 18, 2016
Five weekends to go Five weekends to go
The first of six weekends’ worth of work to replace aging expansion joints on northbound Interstate 5 near Marysville is in the books, but prep work for the upcoming weekend will affect drivers during the week as well.

Friday, April 08, 2016
Gearing up for northbound I-5 expansion joint work Gearing up for northbound I-5 expansion joint work
Plan ahead for narrow lanes beginning the week of April 11

Sunday, December 20, 2015
White Pass reopens Tuesday evening White Pass reopens Tuesday evening
White Pass Ski Area will open Wednesday morning

Tuesday, December 08, 2015
Road usage charging Road usage charging
Road usage charging as future funding source on Transportation Commission’s meeting agenda

Saturday, November 21, 2015
US 2 between Skykomish and Stevens Pass US 2 between Skykomish and Stevens Pass
Full closure of US 2 in Skykomish Tuesday night for culvert replacement

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