Our Northwest

Recalling Highway 20’s extreme seasons

Friday, November 23, 2012by  Jon Osterberg

North Cascades Highway 20 has closed for the winter following heavy snowfall and avalanches on Nov. 19.
   The State Dept. of Transportation hoped to reopen Washington’s northernmost cross-state route, but approaching storms laden with heavy precipitation made that futile.
   WSDOT records show that a Nov. 19 closure is fairly typical. Some extremes: During the winter of 2004-2005, Highway 20 was closed less than three months, from Dec. 13 until March 10. The earliest closure came Oct. 17, 2003, and the latest opening occurred June 14, 1974. Old-timers can recall the highway’s mildest winter: In 1977, it never closed. Read the closure history on WSDOT’s website.

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