SNOHOMISH WASHINGTON NEWSPAPER Saturday, June 6, 2020   
Snohomish Times News
Home | Business News | County News | Entertainment | Local News | Photo Gallery | Prep Sports | Roads Traffic News | Snohomish News Archive | STSPN.COM

Cascades Highway reopening planned for May 16

Harvey Field
Published:2017-05-13 Roads
Cascades Highway reopening planned for May 16    Print Snohomish Times    
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.




Published: Thursday, June 04, 2020
Applicants Sought For Affordable Housing Projects Applicants Sought For Affordable Housing Projects
Applications for an estimated $1.5 million in federal funds and local funds to develop affordable rental housing and shelter projects will be accepted through July 27, 2020


Published: Thursday, June 04, 2020
Ferry schedules to remain in place Ferry schedules to remain in place
Until further notice, all state ferries will operate on their current reduced schedules


Published: Wednesday, June 03, 2020
WIAA unequivocally condemns racism WIAA unequivocally condemns racism
The WIAA unequivocally condemns racism, hate and all actions motivated by social injustice.


Published: Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Small Business Grants Small Business Grants
WA Department of Commerce Awards Snohomish County Small Business Grants


Published: Tuesday, June 02, 2020
Prison Lockdown During Protests Prison Lockdown During Protests
Federal Prisons Under National Lockdown as Protests Continue After the Death of George



Traffic Conditions Published: 2020-06-01
Fire Fighter Dies
Published: 2020-05-21
Master Gardeners Offer Free Vegetable Gardening Online Classes
Published: 2020-05-20
Community Transit Seeks Input
Published: 2020-05-19
Shop Safe Snohomish
Published: 2020-05-18
DRIVE-UP COVID-19 TESTING SCHEDULE
Published: 2020-05-18
Community Transit to Restore Fare Collection
Published: 2020-05-17
Small Business Relief

Rairdons Monroe Dodge

Snohomish Sports Network

Advertisement

Live Police Scanner

Snohomish County Sheriff, City of Snohomish,
Lynnwood, Mill Creek, Everett - Police & EMS/Fire


Advertisement

mondotimes
The Worldwide Media Guide

 


SNOHOMISH contact