Jeff Adamson WSDOT Communications 509-667-2815 (Wenatchee)
RAINY PASS – The gates opened and the barricades came down at 10 a.m. today, restoring travel over the North Cascades Highway that was disrupted by eight mudslides that closed the highway more than a week ago.
Crews worked continuously to clear 3,000 dump truck loads of mud, boulders, trees and debris.
Before the road could open, guardrail had to be repaired, drainage and ditching work, completed as well as pavement damage that was fixed. Drivers can expect some occasional short delays as crews will be working on drainage and the slopes on both sides of the highway for the next several weeks.
Heavy rain, hail and high winds initially caused two mudslides that closed SR 20, two miles west of Rainy Pass at 9:30 p.m. on Aug. 10. By Sunday, a total of eight slides over a six mile zone between MP 149 and MP 155 covered the highway with slides ranging from 3 feet to 25 feet deep and from 300 feet to ¼ mile long.
Photos of the slides and cleanup are posted on the WSDOT FlickR website: www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/sets/72157635037166187/with/9496492120/