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SR 504 Spirit Lake Memorial Highway reopens May 12

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Date:  Thursday, May 10, 2012

Contact: Washington State Department of Transportation – News
Southwest Region - P.O. Box 1709 - Vancouver, WA 98668- 360-905-2000

May 10, 2012

Contacts: Sam Arola, WSDOT maintenance, 360-442-1342 (Kelso) 
              Magan Reed, WSDOT communications, 360-905-2056 (Vancouver)

TOUTLE – After four months of unpredictable winter weather, State Route 504, also known as Spirit Lake Memorial Highway, will reopen to drivers at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 12.

Crews with the Washington State Department of Transportation started working in mid-April to clear the nearly 20 feet of snow that has piled up on the highway since its closure in January, 2012. (View photos of crews clearing SR 504.)

“We’ve seen a lot of snow these past few weeks, but our crews are working hard to keep the highway clear and forecasts are looking good for the opening weekend,” said WSDOT maintenance supervisor Sam Arola.

WSDOT closes SR 504 from the Hummocks Trailhead to the Johnston Ridge Observatory each year due to hazardous snow conditions and avalanche risk. The roadway reopens in the spring when weather conditions improve and crews are able to effectively clear the snow from the roadway.

Snow accumulation in the south Washington Cascades is not unusual this time of year, and drivers on SR 504 should be prepared for winter driving conditions.

More information about the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is available on the Web.

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