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North Cascades Highway reopens

Mon., Aug. 19, 2013, 1:48 p.m.

The North Cascades Highway reopened this morning after being blocked for more than a week by rock and mudslides triggered by torrential thunderstorms.

Traffic returned to the cross-state route at 10 a.m.

Crews worked quickly over the past week to clear the highway, which was blocked by eight separate slides that started on the evening of Aug. 10 and continued on Aug. 11. The slides were to the northwest of Rainy Pass at the Cascade crest.

The largest slide was 25 feet deep and a quarter-mile long. The slides were strung along seven miles of state Highway 20.

About 3,000 truck loads of earth and debris were hauled away.

Crews have been repairing guardrails, drainage ways and pavement surface, all of which were damaged by the rock falls. Slopes are also being stabilized.

Remaining work could result in traffic restrictions through the construction zone.

During the closure, businesses below the east side of the pass reported room cancellations and a steep drop in revenue.


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