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White Pass To Fully Reopen In Summer 2016

Anna King
Northwest News Network
Temporary signals direct traffic in two spots where White Pass is reduced to one lane.

White Pass near Mount Rainier is open to drivers and skiers, but damage from washouts and rockslides has reduced Highway 12 to one lane in two spots.

The Washington State Department of Transportation said the lanes won’t be fully restored until summer.

Kirstin Maki of Olympia went skiing with her family on White Pass Saturday afternoon. She decided it give it a shot when the pass reopened with temporary traffic lights on the single lanes even though she had been worried when it was closed.

“We thought that was the end of our season passes,” Maki said. “So we were very happy and we drove over it; we expected to be terrified and it was easy. They did a great job on the signal lane. This is about the earliest we’ve ever made it even with the one lane!”

Washington State DOT said construction and maintenance crews worked around the clock for two weeks to get Highway 12 reopened. The full repair in spring and summer will cost more than $5 million.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.