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Officials with the Washington State Department of Transportation say that the gates on the North Cascades Highway will open at noon on Thursday.
Agency Spokesman Jeff Adamson said this morning the Eastside crew arrived at work to see if there had been any more significant snow slides over the weekend. He said When they left Friday afternoon they had cleaned up 10 slides triggered by Thursday's helicopter avalanche control work. While there had been some minor sloughing, the cool temperatures kept the chutes that still have snow in them, stable.
He said the forecast is for more of the same with gradual warming. That suggests we could well find those chutes will remain stable as they enter their spring "melt".
Adamson said even if precipitation and temperature combine to create an avalanche hazard in the days ahead, we'll close for the time it takes to do control work at that location, clean up what comes down, and then reopen.
There's still three and a half miles of snow seperating the east and west crews today, but, Adamson said, they're confident that will be cleared and the widenings accomplished by Thursday morning.