Local Information

SR 504 Spirit Lake Memorial Highway reopens May 15

Monday, May 13, 2019 - 14:15

Celeste Dimichina, communications, 360-905-2057

Seasonal reopening timed with Mount St. Helens anniversary event

TOUTLE – Travelers who enjoy the scenic, tree-lined stretch of highway leading to Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument will soon have access to the upper reaches, when the highway reopens later this week.

On Wednesday, May 15, travelers on State Route 504 – also known as Spirit Lake Memorial Highway – will have access past the gates at Coldwater Lake, continuing up to the Johnston Ridge Observatory. The Washington State Department of Transportation closes the upper portion of the highway each winter because the elevation and geography make it dangerous to clear.

“Because of the unpredictability of winter weather, and given the unique location of the highway, we’re always faced with new challenges,” said WSDOT Maintenance Supervisor Aaron Yanez. “This past winter was no different. Over the past several weeks, our crews have been hard at work, clearing downed trees and removing debris from ditches and culverts, in hopes of minimizing springtime repairs and closures.”

Each year, WSDOT coordinates closely with the U.S Forest Service to ensure SR 504 is open to travelers headed to the Johnston Ridge Observatory in time for the annual May 18 event commemorating the mountain’s eruption in 1980.

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