[3/28/18] Department Of Transportation Crews Begin Work On Clearing North Cascades Highway

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The Washington Sate Department of Transportation has developed a preliminary plan to re-open State Route 20, the North Cascades Highway.

DOT crews launched their annual effort to re-open the northern most east-west state pass earlier this week, from the west side, near Diablo.

The east side clearing, near Mazama, won’t get underway until Monday, April 9th


That’s Washington State Department of Transportation Spokesperson, Jeff Adamson. He says there may be a little less snow on the roadway this year, but the avalanche shoots are chalk full..


Adamson says the orchestrated effort to re-open SR 20 almost always begins a week or two earlier on the west side…


Adamson says experience has taught him that predicting an opening date for SR 20, the North Cascades Highway, is nearly impossible. There are just too many elements that can lead to delays.

Most years, warming temperatures allow for the clearing to begin before the end of March. But, based on the forecast, don’t expect an early opening this year.

Last year, clearing began April 10 and the North Cascades Highway didn’t re-open until May 16th – well past the opening of the fishing season, and Winthrop’s 49er Days Festival.

At this time, the North Cascades Highway remains open to outdoor recreation 7 days a week- but as soon as the east side clearing begins, on Monday, April 9th, the highway will be closed to recreationalists Monday through Thursday, opening up to snowshoeing, skiing, snowmobiling and bicycling beyond the gates Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

You can follow the DOT’s progress on reopening SR 20, North Cascades Highway, online at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/passes/northcascades.