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Crews to close road to Artist Point at Mount Baker

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Date:  Monday, October 15, 2012

Contact: Dustin Terpening, WSDOT communications, 360-757-5997 (Burlington)

Snow in the forecast prompts crews to close mountain highway

MOUNT BAKER – With snow in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow at Mount Baker, crews plan to close the road to Artist Point for the season Tuesday morning, Oct. 16.

Maintenance crews with the Washington State Department of Transportation will close the gate at 7 a.m. just above the Mt. Baker Ski Area. The last three miles of State Route 542 leading into the Artist Point parking lot will be closed to vehicles for the season.

This is a mountain highway that receives extreme weather conditions: The sharp curves, narrow roadway and steep hillsides along this stretch of road make it unsafe to leave open once ice and snow move in.

“This is about the time of year we typically close the road, when the weather changes and the snow returns,” said Tony Hernandez, WSDOT Maintenance Superintendent. “We thought it might stay open a little longer this year after we had such a warm, dry summer, but this is pretty much on schedule.”

The latest recorded closure on record is Oct. 26, 2011, and the earliest recorded closure is Sept. 27, 2007. For a year-by-year list of closing dates, visit the open/close history page.

Crews opened the road this year on July 24 after clearing snow 20 to 30 feet deep that buried the highway.

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