Local Information

US 12 over White Pass reopens after two-week closure

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - 16:58

Contact: Summer Derrey, WSDOT communications, 509-577-1943

WHITE PASS – US 12 over White Pass reopened at 5 p.m. today, Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews and contractors Granite Construction, DBM and Stripe Rite worked around the clock for two weeks to reopen the highway after a series of storm-related washouts and rockslides closed the highway Dec. 9. Dump trucks hauled over 1,000 loads of material to stabilize the slopes on the west side of White Pass. On the east side, crews reinforced the embankment with 47 soil nails, steel mesh and shotcrete, a spray concrete.

Reopening US 12 presented many challenges. The highway is located between a mountainside and a ravine, which restricted space to get repair equipment in and out of work areas. In addition, the washouts left only one passable lane in some areas. Rain and snowfall also made for tough working conditions. Approximately two feet of snow has fallen since the pass has been closed. Despite those challenges, crews were able to reopen US 12 by the projected time.

Drivers can expect minor delays on the reopened highway. There are two areas, one east and one west of the pass, where a traffic light will allow alternating traffic through a single lane. Semi-trucks (truck-trailer combinations) are allowed.

More repairs are needed to fully reopen US 12 to two lanes in the damaged sections. WSDOT will hire a contractor in the spring and work in the washed out areas until they are completed in the summer.


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