Gov. Inslee helps WSDOT get federal money to repair and reopen White Pass

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OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee last night signed a proclamation to help the Washington State Department of Transportation restore a washed-out section of US 12, 3 miles east of White Pass.

The Governor’s emergency proclamation allows WSDOT and local agencies to pursue federal emergency relief funds to restore the highway.

Rain storms over the past several days caused severe erosion along a 500-foot-long section of US 12. Engineers are carefully assessing the stability of the slope supporting the highway to determine a plan for repairs and whether US 12 can safely support traffic during the repair process. The highway has been closed since noon Tuesday, Oct. 1.

WSDOT will announce plans and a timeline for repairs once they are determined. Work will be carried out under an emergency contract.

“I know this is a difficult time for residents, recreationalists and businesses that rely on this corridor,” said Gov. Inslee. “We will do everything we can to reopen all lanes of US 12 safely and quickly.”

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, WSDOT closed US 12 to through traffic from the intersection of US 12 and SR 410 west of Naches to the intersection of US 12 and SR 123 east of Packwood. Motorists can use SR 410 and 123 as alternate routes, but commercial vehicles are prohibited. Local traffic can reach businesses and recreation from both the east and west sides. White Pass is open from the west, and businesses between Rimrock Lake and Naches are open. Access to the Rimrock Lake area from the Naches side is still available. WSDOT hopes to reopen one lane of alternating traffic by the weekend.

The proclamation can be found online here.

Media Contacts

Jaime Smith
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office