‘And then there were none:’ 4 major Washington mountain passes reopen
Stevens Pass and US 2 Tumwater Canyon reopened to traffic Thursday morning after being closed for a full week. White Pass followed, reopening at 3 p.m. Thursday.
The Washington State Department of Transportation says crews worked to clear the road at Stevens Pass and remove dangerous trees near the roadway to get the pass and highway reopened to travelers. The department reminded drivers to take it slow and “be prepared for winter driving conditions.” A spinout or crash could close the pass again. Traction tires are advised.
Just after 3 p.m. on Thursday, as White Pass reopened, WSDOT tweeted “and then there were none,” meaning that all major east-west pass routes in Washington were once again open for travel following “record-level snowfall” on Jan. 4-5.
White Pass had been closed early Thursday as work continued to remove a large boulder above the roadway. The pass previously reopened Monday, Jan. 10, but then had to close again due to a rockslide.
WSDOT says the boulder was exposed by that rockslide, and it was “roughly the size of a three-quarter ton pickup, about 125 feet above the roadway.” A specialized team was on site to remove it.
Snoqualmie and Blewett passes, which had both been closed last week and over the weekend, remain open as of 5 p.m. Sunday. Crews are still working to clear snow and ice from additional traffic lanes, exit ramps, shoulders, and rest areas.
“On Snoqualmie Pass there are still some narrow locations with limited areas to stop and we once again ask travelers to use caution and take it slow to avoid any crashes or spinouts that could force the pass to close again,” WSDOT said on Twitter. “It only takes one driver to close the entire pass.”