Thursday, December 24, 2015

Status of I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass

What is the current status of I-90 over Snoqualmie pass?

Update 1:15 a.m. Dec. 25

The West Bound lanes of Interstate 90 on Snoqualmie Pass have reopened. The pass is now open in both directions.

Drivers are reminded that there are still winter storm conditions in the mountains and they need to be prepared and drive for conditions. Drivers should slow down, give themselves extra time for travel and leave extra space between vehicles. Drivers also should carry chains and other winter weather supplies and be prepared for slow traffic and congestion at times. See below for more details about winter driving and supplies.

With more than 112 inches of snow over the last seven days and 25 inches in the last 24 hours, trees leaning over the roadway and high avalanche risk I-90 over Snoqualmie pass is currently closed indefinitely. Closure points are from milepost 34 in North Bend to milepost 106 near Ellensburg.

The amount of snow on the pass has been massive. Last night we were getting two inches of snow an hour in spots. The pass usually gets between 300 to 400 inches of snow each winter, so the past week has seen more than a quarter of an entire season's snowfall on the pass. That increases avalanche danger both because of the amount of snow and the fact that snow on lower levels hasn't had a chance to settle and compact.

Trees in the area also are very heavy with snow and many have already fallen or are leaning over the roadway.

Our crews have been working around the clock on the pass and are busy clearing roads as well as clearing those trees that have come down on the roadway due to heavy snow.

They're also out doing avalanche control. The snow is so heavy, though, that by the time they clear avalanche chutes on one side of the pass, the ones on the other side fill back up. Our nationally recognized avalanche forecasters also closely watch conditions and do on-the-ground evaluations to analyze avalanche threats.

I-90 over the pass closed several times yesterday as crews worked to clear spinouts and collisions on the roadway.

The scene near the old snowshed. More than 15 feet of snow is across the roadway.

Why are the pass cameras down?
There's a power outage up at the pass affecting the cameras and the ski resort. Puget Sound Energy crews are hard at work to restore the power but are facing big challenges with the weather.

Weather forecast?
Forecasters are calling for another foot of snow today and another foot of snow this evening over the passes.

What about US 2?
US 2 over Stevens Pass reopened at 1 p.m. Thursday December 24th.

Alternate routes?
With I-90 closed we expect heavy traffic on US 2, US 12 and I-84.

What can you do?
Follow along on this blog, Twitter, Facebook, use our Android or iPhone mobile app and the Snoqualmie pass website.

One of the biggest challenges crews faced yesterday were folks traveling up over the passes unprepared. If you decide to go over a pass during the next few days, make sure you have plenty of food, water and emergency supplies for you and your family and be prepared for delays and winter storm conditions.

8 comments:

Charlie Gorman said...

Is SR 10 between ellensburg and cle elum open?

Brian said...

Thank you to all the WSDOT crews, WA State Patrol, and others out there keeping travel safe! Those travellers waiting to cross the pass and join others for Christmas are in good hands.

punchnrun said...

Like Charlie, I'm in Roslyn and have urgent need to get to Yakima or Seatac airport. Getting out of Roslyn seems the crux of the issue, as we are dependent on I90. What route alternatives exist?

RMS said...

With respect guys, this was a really botched job and has ruined my holidays off. The pass could easily have been closed to semis and passenger cars, so that those of us with 4 wheel drive and chains could have gotten home. The pass will open at daylight you said. Travel on the 24th you said. WSP will be present for enforcement you said. Pass open after 2pm you said.
Not to be believed again.
RSchroetlin MD

CeeJay253 said...

Yes, because the DOT can control the weather. You are not the only person trying to get somewhere! These crews are doing the best they can keeping roads clear and safe! I'm sure they'd rather be home with their families! Merry Christmas!

Burse said...

Much thanks to WSDOT and WSP for all your hard work and keeping everyone safe. There will always be somebody complaining.

Unknown said...

It not about just u. Everyone can drive on it. Just bc you have 4 wheel drive or chain. Doesnt make you more inportant then others. They want to be careful then they will take it slow. It the kind of ppl like you that cause car accidents.

Jeremy Bertrand said...
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