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North Central Region NewsBrief

June 23, 2017

In this issue:

o On the Road

o Follow-up File

o Behind the Curtain

o Special

On the Road


Moses Lake Relay for Life June 23-24

Paradiso Concert at the Gorge June 23-24

SR 20 Loup Loup Closure

While there are still several challenges to work through, we are hopeful to reopen the highway to one-way alternating traffic by July 9th, eleven days earlier than previously projected. Work will continue in several locations when it reopens, so expect flagged traffic and delays.

MP 211.85 fill MP 211.85

You can check the status of work for the nine damage locations on the project web page: 

MP 211.85 rockMP 211.85
Okanogan EMS put a Loup Loup video on Facebook this week:

Orange Cones

Expect travel delays this weekend (Here’s a 3 min. WSDOT video on Youtube)

On I-90 from Seattle and Spokane, prepare for traffic backups today, through Monday morning, June 26.

Both directions of I-90 have lane reductions for projects between North Bend and Ellensburg. Also, expect heavy eastbound traffic and delays as drivers head for Paradiso at the Gorge and Hoopfest in Spokane.

Expect heavy traffic in and out of Seattle for road projects on I-5 and several events expected to draw large crowds adding to delays.

The Washington State Patrol is launching a three-day speed emphasis patrol on I-90 and US 2 starting today through Sunday. WSP Troopers, the Commercial Vehicle Division, the Serious Highway Crime Apprehension Team, the Aviation Section and the Domestic Highway Enforcement team will be working the roadways.


The two-mile long passing lane on SR 28 at Spanish Orchards opens to traffic on Monday and the SR 150 Chelan-Manson paver will be complete Tuesday.

Check our Region’s Weekly Construction Update and Travel Advisory for specifics on all the projects underway.

Work in adjacent regions on I-90, & US 2, west of Stevens Pass:

                                      Follow up File

We awarded bids on two projects in Douglas and Okanogan Counties last week.

SR 28/5th St. Roundabout & SR 153 Methow River Bridges Rehabilitation

Several bridges over the Methow River on SR 153 are in need of repairs to their columns. That work will occur over the next couple of summers.

Behind the Curtain

Local officials and community leaders from Leavenworth and North Central Washington met with the Washington State Transportation Commission this week to provide their perspectives on transportation issues, challenges and successes.

On Tuesday local officials presented a series of briefings on the transportation needs in Leavenworth, Cashmere and Wenatchee, as well as Chelan and Okanogan counties.

Representatives from the Cascade Loop Association, and the chambers of commerce in Leavenworth, Chelan and the Wenatchee Valley, described how transportation is essential to tourism and recreation focusing on congestion, pedestrian safety, passenger train service, and electric vehicle charging stations.

Representatives from the agricultural industry, the Ports of Chelan and Douglas counties, and the City of Wenatchee described how rail, highway and air transportation are critical to the local economy.

WSDOT provided a regional overview. The North Central Region geographic area contains the following:

· Our Region population is about 4% of the state total.

· Its area is 13,493 square miles- 20% of the state.

· Includes: four counties: Chelan, Douglas, Grant, & Okanogan and parts of five others, Adams, Kittitas, King, Skagit & Franklin

· 38 towns & cities.

· Seven mountain passes (all higher than Snoqualmie!)

· Several scenic byways -the Coulee Corridor (SR 17 and SR 155), Steven Pass Greenway (US 2), North Cascades National Scenic Highway (SR 20) Cascade Loop (US 2, US 97, SR 20, and SR 153), and Okanogan Trails (US 97) byway.

Scheduled Region construction projects were featured including the Connecting Washington Projects that include highway, rail, transit and facilities.

Maintenance issues garnered a lot of attention with rock, mud and flooding closing the south Lakeshore Drive on Lake Chelan, SR 20 over Loup Loup plus short term closures on several other highways. Fire closures recieved attention as well.

US 2 @Monitor 6/21 US 2 @ Monitor Wednesday morning. 

The “not-scheduled” maintenance work over the last year that doesn’t make news may surprise you:

· Abandoned Vehicles 144

· Chain Enforcement 81

· Chemical Spills 6

· Closures 54

· Collisions 628

· Dead Animals 488

· Debris Cleanup 167

· Disabled Vehicles 339

· Fires 32

· Rocks on Road 503

· Traffic Signals 86

· Road Signs 145

· Downed Trees 70

· Water Over Roadway 32


…Just the little things that popped up besides what the crews planned to do that day!

And then there’s Winter:

· Steven’s Pass had a record 40 avalanche control missions in 2017

· North Cascades Hwy. had its 4th latest opening ever (tied with 1975)

· Stevens, White, and Snoqualmie were all closed Feb 9 -10th (3rd time ever)

Be safe,

Dan Sarles

Regional Administrator, WSDOT North Central Region

If you have any questions on items in this NewsBrief, or other transportation issues, please let me know. Call me at (509) 667-3001 or send me an e-mail at:

NewsBriefs are the result of the efforts of my Leadership Team:

Leadership team