CHINOOK PASS – State Route 410 over Chinook Pass is scheduled to open to motorists on June 9, two weeks past the goal of a Memorial Day weekend opening.
Although late, it’s not the pass’s latest opening date, which was on June 12 in 1974.
Each year the state Department of Transportation closes a stretch of the 5,430-foot pass located 65 miles west of Yakima in late November due to heavy snowfall, high avalanche risk and hazardous driving conditions.
Each spring, DOT crews work to clear deep snow from the pass, with a goal of reopening it by Memorial Day weekend.
Currently, crews are performing avalanche control work, which entails removing snow in areas where it has piled almost 40 feet high on slopes near the roadway.
Another nearby mountain pass typically closed each winter, Cayuse Pass on SR 123, was reopened to traffic May 19.
For more information on mountain passes or the latest road conditions, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/news.
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