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Clearing the road to Artist Point is underway, WSDOT warns an early reopening is unlikely

WSDOT maintenance crews began clearing snow and ice from the final 2-mile stretch of the Mount Baker Highway (June 2022). Photo courtesy WSDOT

GLACIER, Wash. — Washington State Department of Transporation (WSDOT) officials say maintenance crews have begun clearing the final 2-mile stretch of the Mount Baker Highway (SR542), also known as the road to Artist Point.

In a typical year, clearing of the road takes about 6 to 8 weeks; however, the cooler weather and recent spring snowfall, the snow depth at the gate is about 15 feet and we anticipate that it will be deeper at higher elevations and therefore will take longer than normal to clear this season.Washington State Department of Transporation (June 3, 2022)

Officials say reopening will also need to wait on an assessment of a retaining wall where hillside erosion caused a portion of the wall to crumble.

The roadway closed in October 2020, ahead of the snowfall, to reduce the risks of an uncontrolled collapse over the winter according to WSDOT officials. The road was reopened to non-oversized vehicles in August 2021 after temporary repairs were made.

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