Local Information

Rock removal, hillside stabilization begins on North Cascades Highway near Rockport

Thursday, June 18, 2020 - 14:14

Jordan Longacre, WSDOT communications, 206-573-0528

Repairs expected to take at least a month; detour will remain in place until work is complete

ROCKPORT – Clean-up and repair work of series of rockslides blocking both lanes on State Route 20/North Cascades Highway begins Monday, June 29, and will require the existing detour to remain in place until further notice. There are exceptions for emergency vehicles.

The work will clean up the highway east of SR 530, with travelers detouring around the slide area via SR 530 between Rockport and Marblemount. Emergency vehicles will be escorted onto SR 20 and allowed to use a bypass lane.

Interwest Construction contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation expect the work to take at least a month. Initial evaluations by geotechnical engineers show the slope above SR 20 is unstable and will require removing overhanging trees and rocks before reinforcing the slope with dowels to hold rock in place.

WSDOT wants to thank the Washington family of the Upper Skagit Tribe for their cooperation and support to gain access to the slope above SR 20.

Funding for this project comes from Washington state’s preservation funds and is expected to cost around $700,000.

Detour route
During the closure, travelers are detouring via SR 530, Rockport Cascade Road and Cascade River Road.

Background
The initial rockslide occurred the night of June 10, dumping about 150 cubic yards of debris onto both lanes of the highway. By morning, more rocks had fallen, and now crews estimate 1,000 cubic yards of debris - about 70 dump truck loads - will need to be removed.

Real-time traffic alerts will be posted to WSDOT’s regional Twitter account.

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