Alternate routes include US 2 and I-90
WENATCHEE — Following the busy Labor Day travel weekend, those who take US 97 over Blewett Pass will need to plan for an extended closure of the highway in September.
Beginning at 9 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 9 the road will close for five days while contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation replace three culverts under the highway.
US 97 will reopen in time for weekend travel at 9 a.m. Friday Sept. 14.
There are no detours available around the work zone. With an average of 6,100 vehicles crossing Blewett Pass each day, travelers will need to use alternate routes such as Interstate 90 or US 2.
Culvert replacement work
The current culverts under the highway are undersized and either create flooding issues or obstruct trout and salmon spawning. Two box culverts will be installed over tributaries of Tronson Creek, and 5 Mile Creek north of the summit. A third culvert will be replaced at Swauk Creek.
Work begins a week before the closure and continues after. When necessary, both directions of US 97 will alternate through a single lane during daytime hours Tuesday, Sept. 4 through Friday, Sept. 28. With lives on the line in the work zone, travelers will need to follow directions from the flaggers and stay behind the pilot car. Delays of 20 minutes are expected. Additional work will continue through the end of September.