Follow us:

Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

May 7, 2014 at 4:56 PM

North Cascades Highway reopens just in time for Winthrop festival

[do action=”custom_iframe” url=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/13875231744/in/set-72157642267729715/player/” width=”630″ height=”500″ scrolling=””/]Washington highway workers reopened  the North Cascades Highway at noon Thursday for the summer travel season.

On  Monday the crews were still 3.5 miles apart, but they delivered on their hope to reopen the highway the day before the annual Winthrop 49er Days festival begins.

Washington State Department of Transportation photos in the Flickr link above document how crews have been digging and scraping with plows and other heavy equipment for almost six weeks (point and scroll to see more images).

When they tackled the project March 31, snow at the summit of Washington Pass, elevation 5,477 feet, measured almost 10 feet, double the depth of last year. Snow on the highway below the Liberty Bell avalanche chutes averaged 35 feet deep. The highway closed for the winter on Dec. 3.

The highway, State Route 20, traverses North Cascades National Park and provides a scenic route to Winthrop and the Methow Valley. It is closed each winter when weather, snow conditions and avalanche danger threaten the safety of drivers and  maintenance crews.  Avalanches typically close the highway between late November and mid-December. Reopening in the spring is usually accomplished by early May.

Comments | Topics: North Cascades, North Cascades Highway, snow plowing

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►