SNOHOMISH WASHINGTON NEWSPAPER Sunday, August 25, 2019   
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

KTKO AM1380
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: Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Bridge work to close lanes on I-5 Bridge work to close lanes on I-5
Bridge work to close lanes of southbound I-5 in Snohomish County starting Saturday, Aug. 24


Published: Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Free Car Wash Free Car Wash
This Thursday: Brown Bear offers free “Beary Clean” car washes at 26 tunnel locations


Published: Sunday, August 18, 2019
Financial Advisor Sterling Gurney gets CFP Financial Advisor Sterling Gurney gets CFP
Financial Advisor Sterling Gurney of Edward Jones Receives CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (TM) Certification


Published: Friday, August 16, 2019
Confirmed Hepatitis A Case Closes Lynnwood Restaurant Confirmed Hepatitis A Case Closes Lynnwood Restaurant
Patrons are encouraged to contact healthcare provider for vaccine


Published: Thursday, August 15, 2019
Snohomish County Solid Waste Launches New Webcams Snohomish County Solid Waste Launches New Webcams
More Time for Other Things Campaign highlights new facility web cams and streamlined commercial services


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