WSDOT opens North Cascades Highway following large slides

News WSDOT August 20, 2004
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“So far, so good,” said Don Becker, WSDOT Maintenance Supervisor. “We are a quarter of the way through the last mudslide and we haven’t found any road damage.”

WSDOT maintenance crews worked all day to clear the largest slide at Granite Creek, Milepost 150, from the highway. The slide measured 750 ft wide and 5 ft deep. This is one of three major slides that covered State Route 20 just west of Rainy Pass Monday night.

WSDOT used ten dump trucks, four loaders, an excavator and a cat to haul rock, tree limbs and mud from the area. Twenty people worked 15-hour days to get the road open as quickly as possible.

“Our main concern is getting the road open for the weekend,” Becker said. “We will work late into the evening to get this last slide cleared.”

The road closed Monday night when a large thunderstorm moved through the area dropped more rain than the ground and large culverts could handle. Three major slides and several minor ones trapped 65 people for about six hours. All were safely rescued.

WSDOT crews moved the east closure point farther west so campers and hikers could move in and out of the unaffected area.

For the latest on the situation, please visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/northcascades/

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