WSDOT To Close Highway 20 Twisp-Okanogan Section For 2nd Washout Repair Since 2017
Drivers and cyclists have this Memorial Day weekend to get in a full trip over Washington’s Highway 20 before a temporary closure on the east side.
The northernmost cross-state route stretches from the San Juan Islands, over the North Cascades, through the Okanogan Valley, over Sherman Pass and Kettle Range and east to Idaho. It’s a popular route to see beautiful passes and scenic overlooks, particularly for motorcycle and bicycle touring (as Spokesman Review reporter Nick Deshais wrote about first-hand in 2015).
Since April, the section connecting the Methow Valley to the Okanogan region has been reduced to one lane in an area east of Loup Loup pass. Now, the state Department of Transportation will close that full 30-mile stretch connecting Twisp and Okanogan for nine days beginning Tuesday, May 28.
Lauren Loebsack is a communications manager on the project with the state DOT. She says travelers over the highway know the difficulties maintaining a highway over mountain passes.
“People that use SR 20 and go over the North Cascades understand that it’s a highway that goes through the wilderness and there’s a lot that comes with it,” Loebsack said.
This mudslide is less than a mile east of an area that was washed out and caused a similar emergency closure and repair in 2017.
Loebsack said the decision to close the highway now to all traffic is out of an abundance of caution for safety.
“Safety is really our number one priority. … That’s the need for the full closure right now,” Loebsack said. “That will help us reopen this road in a timely manner for everyone.”
Just like two years ago, a detour will take road users along SR 153 and US 97, adding about an hour to the trip.
The first part of a project that covers the most dangerous section of Highway 97 near Tonasket, Washington, is finished. It’s expected to prevent more than 100 collisions each year in just one mile in the Okanogan Valley. The 13-miles stretch from Tonasket to Riverside sees nearly 350 deer-car collisions per year. Continue Reading ‘The Deer … Just Get Whacked’: Private Funds Help Reduce Wildlife Hits On Bad Stretch Near Tonasket
The coronavirus pandemic has brought many changes to how our lives are lived, from working at home to the now-ubiquitous masks. Now roads are changing, too. Continue Reading Take Your Horse (And Bike) To The Old Moscow-Pullman Town Road To See The Changes
Do you want to own an old ferryboat? A retired Washington car ferry is for sale again after the current owner’s many ideas for the boat did not work out. Continue Reading Want To Own A Big Ol’ Boat? A Former Washington State Ferry Is Up For Sale — Again