The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) reported that it resumed clearing snow from the North Cascades Highway on Monday (April 13).
However, Twisp Mayor Soo Ing-Moody said at the town council’s Tuesday (April 14 meeting) that WSDOT has indicated that the highway won’t be open to regular traffic, but will be available as an emergency route as fire season approaches.
“An alternative access in this area is critical in case of a natural disaster, such as a wildfire,” said Lauren Loebsack, communications manager for WSDOT’s North Central Region. “The fluidity of this emergency means we cannot predict what the circumstances will be in the four to five weeks it will take us to complete the reopening.”
WSDOT began its annual work to clear the highway from both the east and west sides on March 23. But on March 26, after Gov. Inslee issued his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” orders, Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar suspended most highway maintenance around the state including work to reopen the highway.