UPDATE: WSDOT to Have White Pass Back Open Tuesday Evening - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

UPDATE: WSDOT to Have White Pass Back Open Tuesday Evening

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WHITE PASS, Wash. - State transportation officials say they plan to reopen U.S. 12 over White Pass in both directions at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
 
The highway was closed about two weeks ago after rain caused washouts and mudslides west and east of White Pass.
 
The Department of Transportation says a traffic light will direct traffic through a single lane near the repairs areas east and west of the mountain pass. Semi-trucks are not allowed.
 
White Pass Ski Area is scheduled to open on Wednesday.
 
Permanent road repairs are planned for the spring.

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WHITE PASS, Wash.- After two washouts and a rock slide the Washington Department of Transportation closed down White Pass indefinitely.  

However, we got a first-hand look at exactly how much damage was done and when homeowners and skiers can expect to get back on the mountain.

As of Wednesday a huge portion of the road is still missing on the East and West sides of White Pass, but more than 20 construction workers are doing what they can to move quickly to repair it.  

"We've definitely had our challenges," Superintendent, Greg Domgaard, with DBM Contractors said, "We're working around the clock right now, pulling two 12 hour shifts."

On the West side crews are filling that washout with dirt and rocks and on the East side they're installing a temporary soil nail wall, placing nails through the rockbed below the road to help support it from further water damage and erosion.

"We've had our geo-techs look at it and we feel really confident that this solution will work through the winter time, but we'll have to come back in Spring or Summer and construct a new wall," WSDOT Supervising Manager, Brian White told us.

Their temporary wall and repairs come in at around $5.6 million, but  will only allow them to open one lane of traffic on both sides of the pass, the other lane will remain closed till Spring.

White says even looking at repairs that will need to be done to their water drainage system, "We do have an issue with one of the pipes here so we're going to have to do some repairs to the pipes, and reestablish drainage so the water has a natural path to flow through."

While homes and businesses along that 30 mile stretch are still cut off there is a bright side, crews say that one lane should open very soon.

"We believe by Christmas weekend we'll be open and be able to get people up here skiing, so that's the good news from us today," White said.

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