INDEX — After a 10,000-acre wildfire closed U.S. 2 for two weeks, the highway is now set to open sooner than expected between Index and Skykomish, the Washington State Department of Transportation announced Friday.
Set an alarm for 10 a.m. Saturday.
The highway — a main route through the Cascades — was originally expected to remain closed west of Stevens Pass through the weekend, with a previously scheduled open date on Monday.
“This remains an evolving situation,” state DOT spokesperson RB McKeon wrote. “Travelers in this area should expect a reduced speed limit of 30 miles per hour as fire crews continue their work. Additionally, there will be single lane closures when WSDOT maintenance crews return to perform necessary guardrail repairs.”
The highway closed Sept. 10 due to the Bolt Creek wildfire, prompting evacuation orders and threatening the communities of Skykomish, Baring, Grotto and Index.
Road crews continued working on U.S. 2 to clear fire-damaged trees and others that posed a safety threat.
State road workers will perform a daily post-fire corridor inspection along the affected stretch of U.S. 2 through the winter, as they continue to monitor the area for damage during the rainy and wet season.
Soil may become saturated and more trees may need to be removed.