N. Cascades Highway will reopen today

Good news for travelers and those who like to play in the North Cascades: Highway 20 is set to reopen today at 10 a.m. The road had been closed for more than a week by massive mudslides.

Here’s the press release from the WSDOT:

RAINY PASS – The North Cascades Highway (State Route 20) is scheduled to reopen at 10 a.m. Monday Aug. 19.. Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews will swing the closure gates open and remove the barricades to restore travel between the Skagit and Methow Valleys.

Crews worked continuously since Sunday, Aug. 11, to clear 30,000 cubic yards (3,000 dump truck loads) of mud, boulders, trees and debris when a series of eight mudslides covered portions of the road along a six mile stretch beginning the night before.

Besides the clearing effort, crews need to repair pavement, drainage and guardrail that has been damaged before the road is safe to reopen. Even when traffic resumes, drivers can expect to encounter orange cones, signs and other traffic control as crews continue work on drainage, slope stabilization and other work.

Heavy rain, hail and high winds initially caused two mudslides that closed SR 20, two miles west of Rainy Pass at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10. By Sunday, eight slides between MP 149 and MP 155 covered the highway at depths ranging from 3 to 25 feet and up to a ¼ mile wide.

Photos of the slides and cleanup are posted on the WSDOT FlickR website.

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