Travelers planning to visit the Mount Rainier area over Memorial Day Weekend will find one of their most direct routes of access is still closed from the winter season.

Although crews plan to reopen all of State Route 123 (SR-123) over Cayuse Pass on Friday (May 24), a portion of State Route 410 (SR-410) over Chinook Pass will remain closed through the holiday weekend.

Washington State Department of Transportation spokesperson, Summer Derrey, says the persistent closure stems from damage that was discovered during snow removal this spring.

"Upon clearing work, once we kind of dug out the roadway, we saw some damage. We have two washouts, one was a small one on the west side of the pass and the other was kind of a medium-sized washout on the east side."

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Derrey says the west side washout has been fully repaired but although crews worked diligently to fix the east side damage, a five-mile stretch of SR-410 must remain closed until further notice.

"Crews worked their hardest, seven days a week doing twelve-hour days to reinforce the roadway. It's quite the feat of work. Six-thousand cubic yards were washed out there and we had to repave part of the highway and put a bunch of guardrail in. We came up just a little bit short trying to get things reopened for Memorial Day Weekend."

The closure stretches from the junction of SR-123 east to Morse Creek at milepost 74.5.

SR-410 will partially open from Crystal Mountain Boulevard to the junction of SR-123 tomorrow morning (May 24).

All commercial vehicles are prohibited from traveling through Mount Rainier National Park which includes sections of both highways.

Derrey says crews have completed the washout repair work but still need to install about 300 feet of guardrail along a sharp and narrow section of highway.

She also advises travelers to take heed of forecasts for colder temperatures and the possibility of snow over both SR-410 and SR-123 this weekend.

SR-410 is expected to fully reopen for the season by the end of next week.

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