U.S. 2 reopens between Stevens Pass and Leavenworth

STEVENS PASS — State transportation officials who feared U.S. 2 would remain closed between Leavenworth and Stevens Pass announced the passage had reopened late Tuesday.

The 35-mile stretch of highway was closed when trees crashed down on two cars and killed two people on Saturday.

At about 3:15 p.m. on Christmas, state transportation officials announced the highway was reopened to traffic.

The highway is one of two primary east-west routes through the mountains usually open during the winter.

Transportation spokesman Jeff Adamson told The Wenatchee World trees along the roadway were overloaded with snow and posed a hazard to drivers.

About 7,000 to 10,000 drivers cross Stevens Pass on a typical holiday and for much of Christmas, they had to cross the mountains on Snoqualmie and Blewett passes this year.

The Stevens Pass trees bent under snow that fell a week ago. The trees toppled because the ground wasn’t frozen solid enough yet to stabilize the trees under the heavy load, Adamson said.

The DOT’s maintenance supervisor for Stevens Pass has been working in that area for 30 years and had never seen conditions like he saw before the road reopened, he said.

Several days of freezing conditions would stabilize the tree roots, or very warm conditions will melt the snow and cause it to fall from the branches.

The National Weather Service in Spokane has forecast low temperatures in the teens and 20s through next weekend for the Lake Wenatchee area. But more snow is also predicted, with a 30 percent chance Wednesday.

Pass updates

See the WSDOT’s Stevens Pass report at tinyurl.com/ StevensPassUpdates.

More in Local News

Mukilteo crabber missing; his boat was found at Hat Island

Frank Urbick set out Thursday morning but did not return.

Police looking for leads in case of missing Snohomish man

Henry John Groeneveld, 63, was last seen on Monday, when he said something about going to “the river.”

Separate Everett fires send man to hospital, damage boat

The man was hospitalized for smoke inhalation from the early morning fire.

Police: He made an appointment, then tried to rob the bank

A lawyer is accused of donning a fake beard and telling a teller that a gunman was outside.

Drive-by shooting reported in Marysville neighborhood

Police said there was no evidence to indicate it was targeted at a specific person or property.

Celebrating the origins of Christmas

LDS church holds annual nativity festival featuring more than 600 sets.

Trooper’s car struck when he was arresting man for DUI

She drove away but was arrested for investigation of driving under the influence and hit-and-run.

Community boards are taking on school truancy

Support and follow-through, not punishment, seems to be more effective at keeping kids in school.

Inslee’s budget solves school funding with help from carbon

His budget would use reserves to boost education, then replenish them with a carbon tax or fee.

Most Read