Road crews expected to have one lane of U.S. Highway 12 open over White Pass Tuesday evening, easing the pain of holiday travel a bit.
A 27-mile stretch of roadway has been closed between Packwood and the Rimrock Tunnel since Dec. 9 after heavy rain and flooding crumbled slopes beneath and above the road.
The pass is expected to get anywhere from 1 to nearly 3 feet of snow by Wednesday before drying up for the remainder of the week, according to weather forecasts.
State Department of Transportation officials are urging motorists to use caution when traveling over mountain passes. They advise leaving early enough to allow for unexpected delays and to be prepared for winter driving.
DOT officials recommend that motorists keep chains on hand as well as other winter essentials such as an ice scraper, gloves, boots, flashlight and batteries, water, snacks, blankets and a first-aid kit. It’s also wise to travel with jumper cables and a flare kit.
The latest road conditions can be obtained on DOT’s website — www.wsdot.com — or on Twitter or Facebook. Road conditions also are available on radio at 530 AM and 1610 AM. Mobile apps linking to road cameras and current road conditions also can be downloaded at DOT’s website.