Local Businesses Say Communication is Key When Pass Closes - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local Businesses Say Communication is Key When Pass Closes

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YAKIMA, Wa -  Many industries in the Yakima Valley depend on Snowqualmie Pass, but weather conditions can be a big problem during the fall and winter months.

The DOT will be holding a special public meeting tomorrow night to discuss what they're doing to improve the pass conditions.

One local business offers up a suggestion.  

'A & A' Motorcoach has 24-buses in its fleet.  They log more than 900,00 miles each year.  The company's owner, Randy Ammerman, says almost half the trips they do require them to drive over Snoqualmie Pass.

"With the state football playoffs starting right now.  Lotta trips as teams start heading that way," says Ammerman. 

The road conditions over Snoqualmie Pass aren't a big concern to Ammerman.  He says a big bus like this has no problems holding the road.  His problems arise when the DOT decides to close the pass.

"We'll get to Cle Elum or somewhere and then the status has changed.  Usually, there's an hour or so of standing time.  And if it doesn't reopen, we turn back to home base," says Ammerman, "In those types of situations, we lose, as well as the customer."

Ammerman wishes the communication was better in those situations.

"You know you have 40 students, or adults sitting along the interstate.  What do we do?" Ammerman asks, "We're in North Bend.  Do we get housing?  Or, find an alternate route?"

The DOT and State Patrol will be available at a public meeting from 6:30pm to 9:00pm Tuesday night at the Summit Lodge in Snoqualmie Pass to answer questions and listen to comments.