Outdoors blog

North Cascades Highway likely to open Wednesday

Snow blower operator Duane Wolley, Carlton, Wash., cuts a 9-foot-wide by 6-foot-deep swath of snow from the center line of the North Cascades Highway Thursday, April 10, 2008, clearing the way for a possible opening of the mountain pass on May 1. The Washington State Department of Transportation crews have been clearing a 34-mile stretch of the highway of snow since March 24 that has been closed since Dec. 4, 2007.  (Associated Press)
Snow blower operator Duane Wolley, Carlton, Wash., cuts a 9-foot-wide by 6-foot-deep swath of snow from the center line of the North Cascades Highway Thursday, April 10, 2008, clearing the way for a possible opening of the mountain pass on May 1. The Washington State Department of Transportation crews have been clearing a 34-mile stretch of the highway of snow since March 24 that has been closed since Dec. 4, 2007. (Associated Press)

NATIONAL PARKS -- The Washington Transportation Department says road crews expect to reopen the North Cascades Highway at noon Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.

That would be the second-latest opening since travelers began using the highway 39 years ago, said spokesman Jeff Adamson. The latest was June 14, 1974.

Crews started clearing winter snow from the section of Highway 20 on April 11.

The opening is later than usual this year because of the heavy snowpack. When crews began their work, they found the highway segment buried in snow as deep as 75 feet.

Last year the North Cascades Highway opened on April 16. It was closed by snow on Dec. 1.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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