Skip Top Navigation

US 2 reopened between Stevens Pass & Leavenworth

Get Our Mobile App

  • Our Android and iPhone apps include statewide traffic cameras, travel alerts, mountain pass reports, ferry schedules and alerts, northbound Canadian border wait times and more.

Date:  Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Contact: Jeff Adamson
WSDOT Communications, 509-667-2815 (Wenatchee)

LEAVENWORTH – Dozens of snow-laden trees slumped over the roadway since Saturday shed the excess snow on their branches, straightened, and are no longer threatening to fall onto US highway 2 east of Stevens Pass .

Warmer than forecast temperatures and a steady breeze overnight caused most of the snow and ice on tree branches to release. By Christmas morning, no more trees had fallen. With continued warmer temperatures, a breeze and much lighter than expected snowfall, by mid-afternoon WSDOT maintenance crews determined the threat of falling trees had diminished to the point that the highway could reopen. The 35 mile closure zone was opened to traffic at 3:15 p.m., 69 hours after the closure began last Saturday. Crews will continue to monitor conditions closely.

“Under normal conditions this snow-sloughing process goes on daily all winter,” said WSDOT regional administrator Dan Sarles. “The conditions over the past four days produced a falling tree threat that we’ve not seen here before.” “We’re pleased to reopen sooner than we thought we would be able to and have cancelled the helicopter back-wash test to clear snow from the branches since it removed itself naturally.”

The forecast for 8 to 11” of new snow on Christmas Day failed to materialize. Only 3” had fallen at the summit by 4 p.m., further reducing the potential for making trees unstable. The forecast for the next few days includes little precipitation.

When the pass reopened, a light snow was falling; there was compact snow and ice in places on the highway with traction tires recommended and oversize loads prohibited.

Hyperlinks:

US 2 Stevens Pass conditions: http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/passes/stevens/default.aspx

Winter driving: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter/

US 2 photos: WSDOT flickr photos:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/

###


< Go Back