Week six of the 2022 spring clearing brought us to that magic moment when the west side and east side crews met west of the Rainy Pass summit. Here's the latest report from Wash DOT.
The last few miles were some of the slowest going, with snow depths over 6 feet, making it necessary to use an excavator to knock down the snow from above before the blower could clear the roadway.
The crews also performed necessary pavement and guardrail repair, as well as another round of avalanche control. At the moment the pavement is clear and we are very close to opening.
But with up to 16 inches of snow forecast for the weekend, Mother Nature has decided once again to have the final say in the reopening schedule. Spring snow can often turn to rain, which could trigger wash outs and rockslides. If the weather remains cold, that could mean more avalanche control will be necessary before the road can be reopened to traffic.
For those adventurous cyclists: the pavement is clear and this would be the chance to ride without sharing the road with vehicle traffic. Be prepared for cold weather conditions, consult the Northwest Avalanche Center for current backcountry avalanche conditions, and know there is very little is any cell service through Rainy and Washington Passes.
Once our crew has had an opportunity early next week to clean up after weekend, they’ll set a reopening time and I’ll be sure to share that information as soon as I have it. Stay tuned for the final update of the 2022 spring clearing.