Wednesday, September 1, 2010
What happened to the US 2 - Stevens Pass Traffic cameras?
by Guest Blogger Jeff Adamson
Construction began this past May on the US 2 - Stevens Pass Summit - Pedestrian Safety project, which will provide a separated pedestrian crossing to eliminate conflicts with motorists. It also will install access control barrier to prevent pedestrians from walking across the roadway and a right turn lane into the ski facilities western parking lot. Since the project started, the outside eastbound lane has been closed because part of the project builds a new right turn lane into the parking area on the west side of the summit. That lane is finished now and on Wednesday, September 1st, we're going to move the concrete barrier off the highway. The new lane stripes will be painted so by the end of the day on Thursday- the outside lane will be reopened to traffic. The timing worked well so there won't be any lane restrictions over the Labor Day weekend.
The timing that didn't work out quite so well involves the Stevens Pass traffic cameras. They're critically important in the winter, but for the most part, they're only value in the summer is "recreational" for hikers, mountain bikers and the like to see what the weather is like. The only times they have much travel value is on holidays. So here we are the week before Labor Day and the cameras and weather station had to be unplugged, and they'll stay dark for next two weeks. The building that houses all the electronics is right where the end of the new pedestrian bridge ramp is being built. The new location for the control building is several hundred yards further east. It would have been nice to be able to delay moving it until next week, but the construction schedule is extremely tight to get the project substantially complete (usable) before it gets too cold for concrete to set. So the ramp work required the building to be moved today. (With all the lanes open - we're not expecting any delays at the summit, but now you know why the cameras are off line and the Road Weather Information Station (RWIS) isn't giving current weather info.
The Stevens Pass ski area cameras (and weather info) that are still available for recreational users; they don’t show the highway traffic, but you can tell if it’s raining or not. You can also sign up to receive US 2 Stevens Pass to Wenatchee email updates to get up-to-date information.