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Cayuse Pass set to reopen just in time for the weekend

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Date:  Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Contact: Harmony Haveman Weinberg, WSDOT communications (Cayuse Pass), 206-440-4475
Summer Derrey, WSDOT communications (Chinook Pass), 509-577-1943
Tracy Swartout, Mount Rainier National Park, 360-569-6502

Chinook Pass expected to reopen one week later

MOUNT RAINIER – The gates to Cayuse Pass, a scenic spring and summer driving route through Mount Rainier National Park, will soon reopen to travelers. Vehicle traffic will be allowed on State Route 410 at Crystal Mountain Boulevard and State Route 123 near Stevens Canyon Road at noon, Friday, May 16. Chinook Pass, an east entrance through Mount Rainier National Park, is expected to reopen by Friday, May 23.

The Washington State Department of Transportation and the National Park Service collaborate each spring to reopen both Cayuse and Chinook passes. This process has been a shared responsibility for decades.

“We depend on Mount Rainier National Park staff for sign work, law enforcement and other maintenance operations on Cayuse Pass to make sure the roadway is safe,” said Jerry Althauser, WSDOT maintenance superintendent. “Safety for our crews and the public is our top priority.”

Cayuse Pass closed for the winter season on Nov. 20, 2013. WSDOT maintenance crews began to clear snow for the spring opening in early March. Opening and closing dates vary from year to year. WSDOT typically closes Cayuse Pass in late November each year due to heavy snowfall, high avalanche risk and hazardous driving conditions.


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