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UPDATED: North Cascades Highway (SR20) expected to reopen this week

During the sixth week of the 2022 spring clearing on the North Cascades, Highway (SR20), eastside and westside crews met on the west side of Rainy Pass (May 6, 2022). Photo: WSDOT

Officials with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announced last week that after cleaning up some snowfall expected over the weekend, they plan to reopen the North Cascades Highway (SR20).

WSDOT crews have spent the last month and a half clearing the road of snow and avalanche debris while performing pavement and guardrail repairs as well as avalanche control. As of Friday, May 6th, WSDOT officials announced the road had been cleared.

But with up to 16 inches of snow forecast for the weekend, Mother Nature has decided once again to have the final say in the reopening schedule. Spring snow can often turn to rain, which could trigger wash outs and rockslides. If the weather remains cold, that could mean more avalanche control will be necessary before the road can be reopened to traffic.

WSDOT (May 6, 2022)

A specific reopening date and time is expected after WSDOT crews are able to clean up after the weekend snow and assess what work remains to be done.

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UPDATE: WSDOT officials announced the road would be opened at 10am, Tuesday, May 10th.

There will still be plenty of snow on the sides of the highways and this is a winding, two-lane road so please be cautious, watch your speed, give each other room and focus on the road. If you want to look at the scenery, pull off into the established areas, not on the sides of the road.

For those headed eastbound, be aware that an area of SR 20 between Marblemount and Newhalem at about milepost 113 crumbled after this past winters heavy rains and freezing temperatures. That area is one lane with a automated traffic signal in place

WSDOT (May 9, 2022)
View of the North Cascades Highway (SR20) after a spring snow event (April 12, 2022). Photo WSDOT
View of the North Cascades Highway (SR20) after a spring snow event (April 12, 2022). Photo WSDOT

The highway closed for the season November 10th, 2021between the Ross Dam trailhead (milepost 134) on the west side and Silver Star gate (milepost 171) on the east side.

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