Dept. of Transportation to Open One Lane of US 12 After Washout - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Dept. of Transportation to Open One Lane of US 12 After Washout

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NACHES, WA. - The Washington State Department of Transportation says one lane of US 12 east of White Pass should open for the weekend after a washout earlier this week. 

The DOT says a traffic signal will direct alternating single-lane traffic through a quarter-mile area when the highway reopens. 

Drivers can expect minor delays through the detour. The highway remains closed to commercial vehicles and oversize loads. Crews are assessing damage caused by the washout.

The DOT had closed a 45 mile section from the Oak Creek feeding station to the State Route 123 Junction just west of White Pass.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a proclamation to help the Washington State Department of Transportation restore the washed-out section of US 12, 3 miles east of White Pass on Thursday.

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

WSDOT and the emergency contractor, DBM Inc., Federal Way, are developing a temporary fix to allow WSDOT to reopen this section to two lanes of traffic before winter.

Last week's rain storms caused severe erosion along a 500-foot-long section of US 12. The highway has been closed since noon Tuesday, Oct. 1.   

Currently US 12 remains closed to through traffic at the SR 410/US 12 junction west of Naches, and at the US 12/SR 123 junction east of Packwood. Motorists can use SR 410 and 123 as alternate routes. Commercial vehicles are prohibited from using this route, which crosses through Mt. Rainier National Park. Drivers can still access businesses and recreation facilities on either side of the closure along the US 12 corridor.

Local drivers traveling east will be turned around at the summit of White Pass. Local traffic traveling west will be turned around at the west end of Rimrock Lake. These restrictions will be lifted once the single-lane is open to traffic.