Snoqualmie Pass Reopened Thursday night after Day-long Closure over Avalanche Risk

UPDATE | JANUARY 21, 2016, 8:15pm

WSDOT announced that I-90 over Snoqualmie  Pass was now open in both directions.

UPDATE |  JANUARY 21, 2016, 4PM

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said depending on weather conditions, they are tentatively Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 4.28.23 PMplanning to reopen both directions of I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass at 9PM.

A large stretch of the busy freeway between North Bend (exit 34) and Ellensburg (exit 106) has been closed since the early morning hours of January 21st due to extreme avalanche risk.

Heavy, wet snow added instability to the deep snow pack up and down the Cascades, forcing the closure.


The Washington State Department of Transportation announced early Thursday morning that both directions of I-90 over Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 6.25.50 AMSnoqualmie Pass would be closed, January 21, 2016,  from exit 34 at Truck Town in North Bend to exit 106 near Ellensburg due to avalanche danger.  There was no ETA for reopening yet.

Stormy weather that includes heavy snow, rain and blustery winds moved into the Snoqualmie Valley and the pass overnight. Weather forecasters say the warm front moving in Thursday morning will result in rising snow levels, unusually high for this time of the year.

WSDT said the pass will remain closed until the conditions change. An avalanche warning is also in effect for the Cascade Mountains until Thursday evening, as the stormy conditions are expected to last all day.

WSDOT stated via their website that avalanche crews will be doing control work throughout the day. As of 6:30AM, there was compact snow and ice on the roadway and temperatures were sitting right at freezing (32).

There have been multiple I-90 closures over the past month due to winter weather conditions. The closures usually add traffic pressure near Truck Town where Twin Falls Middle School is located.  Residents should be prepared to take alternate routes to TFMS and homes in the area.

Stevens Pass was open Thursday morning at 6:30  – and snowing hard – with traction tires required. Chains are required on vehicles over 10,000 gross vehicle weight. Oversize Vehicles aere prohibited.  

WSDOT said a portion of US 2 near Leavenworth will close at 7:30AM due to the heavy snow and avalanche danger.  That closure will run from Tumwater Canyone to Coles Corner.  A detour is available via Chumstick Highway, but vehicles over 10,000GVW are prohibited.  WSDOT said there is also no estimated time for reopening this stretch of US 2..

Northwest Avalanche Center says avalanche danger is high in all mountain passes, 1/21/16
Northwest Avalanche Center says avalanche danger is high in all mountain passes, 1/21/16


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