SR 20/North Cascades Highway is open!
- Written by Jeff Adamson, WSDOT
DIABLO- With the rev of some engines and the swing of the gate, State Route 20/North Cascades Highway has reopened for 2017. Opening for the upcoming summer season not only provides drivers another option to cross the Cascades but reconnects US Bike Route 10 between Skagit and Okanogan counties.
Washington State Department of Transportation crews were able to speed up the projected eight week reopening with a little help from mother nature. Spring rain helped melt some areas of snow and WSDOT crews worked long days to clear more than 45 feet of snow from below Liberty Bell Mountain and more than 20 feet in many other avalanche chute areas.
Todays 11 a.m. opening allowed crews to do a final sweep of the highway to remove remaining debris. All travelers should be aware that this route is a scenic byway that features jagged glaciated peaks, high elevations, two lanes and sharp turns. All travelers should be prepared for quickly changing conditions and limited facilities between Diablo and Mazama.
Other SR 20 construction
Travelers heading to the North Cascades Highway from Interstate 5 should be prepared for weekday daytime work between Sedro-Woolley and Concrete. Contractor crews from Granite Construction are currently working on repairing cracks, potholes and bridge decks before resurfacing this 20 mile stretch later this summer. This work is expected to last through September.
Drivers and cyclists hoping to use SR 20 between Twisp and Omak will need to add a lengthy detour to their trip via SR 153. SR 20 west of Loup Loup Summit is closed due to washouts, mudslides and road repair work. Crews are working to repair the area, but there is currently no estimate for reopening.
How long will this stretch of highway be open?
WSDOT crews will keep the North Cascades Highway open as long as it is safe to do so. The gates will close at mileposts 134 and 171 when snow starts filling up avalanche chutes, making it unsafe for travelers and crews to be on the road. That usually happens around Thanksgiving.
Rock blasting to close I-90 east of Snoqualmie Pass two days next week for an hour
- Written by Meagan Lott, WSDOT
Drivers will also experience delays through multiple work zones
HYAK – Rock blasting is scheduled to close Interstate 90 east of Snoqualmie Pass for about an hour next week.
The contractor working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close I-90 at 7 p.m. for about an hour each night Wednesday, May 16 and Thursday, May 17. During rock blasting closures eastbound drivers will be stopped at milepost 56 near Gold Creek and westbound drivers will be stopped at milepost 61 near the Price Creek area.
Drivers will also experience delays Monday, May 14 through Friday, May 18 during the day and at night through multiple work zones between North Bend and Ellensburg. Drivers are encouraged to check our What’s Happening on I-90 Webpage for specific daily impacts and locations.
WSDOT provides a variety of tools to help plan your trip over Snoqualmie Pass this summer:
- Visit the What’s Happening on I-90 Webpage for weekly travel information
- Download WSDOT’s free smartphone app to check statewide travel information
- Receive text message alerts about closures and delays by texting the number 468311 with the words "WSDOT Snoqualmie"
- Tune into the Highway Advisory Radio at 1610 AM and 530 AM
- Call 5-1-1 from your hands-free device
- Sign up for email updates
- Follow us on Twitter @SnoqualmiePass
Manson School District Hosts Cultural Celebration
- Written by Janice Stewart
On Tuesday, May 1st, Manson School District hosted a Cultural Celebration, honoring 16 different countries. In conjunction with the district’s annual Dia Del Nino celebration, over 400 students, parents, staff and community members came together in the Manson High School gym to celebrate children and embrace cultures from around the world.
The evening was kicked off by an inspirational welcome given by Mrs. Aurora Flores, Manson School District Board Member. Families enjoyed delicious food while viewing beautiful artwork created by Manson Elementary students. Multiple songs and dances were showcased by elementary students at each grade level, including: El Toro Mambo, Folklorico Ballet, the Heel Toe Polka, “De Colores”, the Troika, the Tarantella, “Sur Le Pont D’Avignon”, and a West African scarf dance.
The 2018 Cultural Celebration was truly a collaborative effort, highlighting the strong relationship between Manson Schools and community. Elementary teachers and students invested countless hours creating art, learning about new cultures, and practicing performances to highlight important traditions from other countries. Many hands went into making the event a success and we look forward to joining together for another rich and beautiful celebration next year!
Public Meeting to Address Eightmile Lake Dam Situation
- Written by Sergeant Kent Sisson, CCSO
LEAVENWORTH, WA – Chelan County Emergency Management is hosting a public meeting at 7:00 p.m. Monday, May 14th at Fire District #3 (228 Chumstick Road in Leavenworth) - to address the current situation at Eightmile Lake Dam.
The dam is located in the Alpine Lake Wilderness and operated by the Icicle-Peshastin Irrigation District. It is nearly 100 years old and in a deteriorating condition. Because the area was significantly burned in the Jack Creek wildfire in 2017, Eightmile Lake is more vulnerable to erosion and flash flooding, which could overwhelm the dam. A breach of the dam could cause a significant wave of water to flow down Eightmile Creek into Icicle Creek near Eightmile Campground and quickly raise the level of Icicle Creek.
There is an increasing level of concern about the dam and we want to share information for impacted residents, landowners, and visitors. Currently, there are no actual evacuation notifications in place for Icicle River residents, but we ask residents within the affected area to be prepared to evacuate as conditions change. (Click for inundation map #1 and inundation map #2).
Chelan County Emergency Management is working with the Icicle-Peshastin Irrigation District and the Department of Ecology Dam Safety Office to monitor conditions at the dam while developing a plan to reduce the risk of a dam failure. We are also working with the U.S. Forest Service, which owns the land at the dam site.
To see a map of the potentially impacted downstream area, visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CCSOEM.
North Cascades Highway reopens on Friday, May 11
- Written by Barbara LaBoe, WSDOT
Plastic flamingos and bird kites help keep our North Cascades Pass clearing crews safe – and entertained
When you see a plastic flamingo yard ornament or a kite decorated like an eagle, you likely don't think safety. But, for our avalanche and maintenance crews clearing State Route 20, these mascots can be the reason they return home at the end of their shift.The flamingos and other feathered friends help us during our work to clear popular destinations like the North Cascades Highway, which will reopen Friday, May 11.It's tough work clearing up to 11 feet of snow from roadways closed for the season – especially given the historic avalanche chutes that make the roads unsafe during the winter months. These known areas of avalanche activity are particularly dangerous and unpredictable and we don't want our crews stopping or parking underneath them.
Floyd (right in hard hat) and his safety flamingo flock help mark dangerous areas for our avalanche and maintenance crews reopening the North Cascade Highway. The birds' bright pink coloring standing out against the snow and warn crews about hazardous areas.
The dangers are included in daily safety briefings and training and are marked with traditional signs, but several years back, our avalanche crew wanted another way to reinforce the message. Complacency is a serious risk factor in repetitive, dangerous work so they wanted a new way to catch workers' attention."That's how accidents happen," explains Mike Stanford, our North Central Region Avalanche Supervisor. "You've done the same thing a million times before and then one day you don't pay attention."Enter Floyd the flamingo.Stanford spied Floyd – in all of his pink, plastic glory – in a store one day and knew this was the answer. Not only does the pink color stand out against the snow, a flamingo suddenly appearing on a mountain pass, covered with snow, certainly gets attention.Inexpensive and easy to relocate, Floyd also was a low-cost solution to a serious safety hazard. "We try to do the best and safest thing we can at the lowest cost.," Stanford said. The plastic birds are also easy to replace if they were ever buried in an avalanche. (There have been a couple of close calls but, so far, no flamingo has been lost in the line of duty.)Once crews and the public saw the first flamingo, the questions began. He soon had a name and an entire backstory, including a home base in Louisiana. At first, Floyd flew solo, but soon members of his extended family also joined the safety crew. A whole flock of pink flamingos – some wearing miniature hard hats and Mardi Gras beads - have been seen during clearing.
Left: This spring an eagle kite was used in place of flamingos, with the coloring and movement a reminder to crews to not stop near it. After the kite string broke, however, it's likely stationary flamingos will return to the job next year. Right: Floyd the flamingo – wearing a mini hard hat – stands at attention near "the annex", a particularly dangerous area near Washington Pass where crews need to avoid stopping or parking.
Floyd's antics were added to the weekly updates on the North Cascades Highway clearing progress and his fame soon reached far beyond Washington state. A couple of the flamingo flock have even been "liberated" by die-hard fans.This year, however, Floyd took a break. The tale up on SR 20 goes that Floyd had some legal issues back in Louisiana and sent his "distant cousin" an eagle kite in his place. The eagle was also very visible to crews, but he "abandoned" his post in late April when the kite's string broke in strong winds – luckily, after the avalanche chute area was cleared. Given the eagle's dependability issues, crews say to expect the flamingos back on the job in 2019.In all seriousness, while flamingos and kites are fun, they do serve a serious purpose. We want to reopen roads as soon as possible each spring, but we also need to keep our crews safe in the process. Closely following our safety policy lets us achieve both goals. And, if some of our tools also make the crews smile during a long, dangerous job, that doesn't hurt either.
Manson Parks Regular Board Meeting 5-10-18
- Written by Robin Pittman
Regular Board Meeting
142 Pedoi Street, Bumgarner Building, May 10, 2018, 4:10pm
I. Call to Order
II. Flag Salute
III. Agenda Additions and Deletions
IV. Public Comment
V. Approval of Minutes
a. April 12, 2018 Regular Meeting minutes
b. April 27, 2018 Special Meeting minutes
VI. Financial Review
a. Review Monthly Financial Report
b. Review and Approve Monthly Voucher
VII. Old Business
a. Manson Bay Waterfront Revitalization Project
i. Property Acquisition
b. Director’s Report
VIII. New Business
a. Campground Host wage
Next Regular Meeting: June 14, 2018 at 4:10pm, 142 Pedoi Street, Manson, WA 98831
Historic Stearman Speedmail biplanes to carry mail 1,200 miles, including May 18 stop in Olympia
- Written by Christina Crea, WSDOT Aviation Communications
Mail Centennial Celebration Flight honors airmail history
OLYMPIA – Like a flight back in time, historic Stearman Speedmail biplanes will carry mail from San Diego to Seattle from Sunday, May 13, to Friday, May 18, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of airmail service in the United States. The Mail Centennial Celebration includes a stop in Olympia where the public can view these rare planes.
The Olympia stop is from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 18. The event is being hosted by the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division and takes place at the division’s offices at the Olympia Regional Airport in Tumwater.
Attendees can speak with pilots and get an up close view of three Stearman Speedmail biplanes used as mail planes in the early 1930s. Powered by 450 horsepower engines, the wood and fabric open-cockpit aircraft were noted for their dependability and ability to carry heavy loads. Of the 41 built, only seven still fly – so this is a rare chance to see these biplanes as they retrace the pioneering West Coast airmail route, known as Contract Air Mail 8 (CAM 8).
This historical reenactment honors the first government-operated airmail flight in America. On May 15, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson and members of Congress watched an Army pilot depart in a wood and fabric biplane from Washington, D.C., bound for New York.
The 2018 flight is sponsored by the nonprofit Western Antique Airplane and Automobile Museum of Hood River, Oregon and endorsed by the U.S. Postal Service. The biplanes will carry commemorative envelopes that will be officially postmarked at each of the 12 stops. Delivery of traditional residential and business mail will not be affected.
Six pilots will take part in the event with three, Addison Pemberton and Jeff Hamilton, both from Spokane, and Ben Scott of Reno, Nevada, sworn-in as official airmail pilots to assist local post office authorities.
Pemberton said the airmail service was the first step toward American commercial airline service, noting it was considered crucial enough to start even while the nation was fighting World War I. “The potential and importance of aviation was recognized even in those early days,” he said.
After departing San Diego, on Sunday, May 13, stops will include Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Fresno, San Francisco, Concord and Redding in California; Medford and Eugene in Oregon; Vancouver, Olympia and Seattle in Washington.
The flight is expected to take approximately 12 flying hours spread throughout the six-day event. Updates, including any weather delays, will be posted on the CAM 8 website as well as a Facebook page and Instagram account.
Olympia airmail stop details
When: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Friday, May 18.
Where: WSDOT Aviation offices, 7702 Terminal St., Tumwater, WA
Vehicle Parking: WSDOT Aviation parking lot. Overflow parking will be along Southwest Terminal Street, near the Capital Little League baseball field.
Aircraft Parking: Pilots should park on the east side of the Olympia Regional Airport runway in the general aviation parking area. WSDOT Aviation’s ramp will be closed to all aircraft except those participating in the airmail reenactment.
Chelan Organizations Receive Washington Main Street Award
- Written by Erin McCardle, Executive Director, Historic Downtown Chelan Association
Seattle, Washington [May 2, 2018] – The Historic Downtown Chelan Association and the Lake Chelan Historical Society received the Community Partnership Award at Washington Main Street’s Excellence on Main Awards Ceremony on April 24 in Port Townsend. The ceremony was held in conjunction with RevitalizeWA, Washington State’s Preservation and Main Street Conference.
Recognizing their shared goals around Chelan’s heritage and historic treasures, the Historic Downtown Chelan Association (HDCA) and the Lake Chelan Historical Society forged a partnership in 2016 focused on two types of public projects: plaques and wraps.
First, the two organizations worked together to institute Chelan’s first historic plaque program. In its initial stages, the HDCA Design Committee selected four historically significant downtown structures, all of which are over 100 years old and have maintained their historic integrity: Campbell’s Resort, Saint Andrews Episcopal Church, Woodin Avenue Bridge, and Ruby Theatre. The Historical Society Manager, Ron McGaughey, served as an advisor on the program and coordinated Society volunteers to find historic photographs of the properties. The two organizations jointly designed and presented the plaques at a media-covered event in 2017.
The historic wrap program beautifies and draws attention to historic aspects of the town by covering a modern necessity, an electric utility box, with historic images. HDCA and the Historical Society again collaborated to identify, design, and implement the project, which is located at a key intersection downtown. Images were selected for their historic significance, cultural relevance, and reflection of life in downtown Chelan during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Each side of the wrap takes a different look at Chelan’s history, with themes including wood-framed buildings, legacy businesses, homesteaders, and life in a frontier town.
“Projects such as these put the history of our town front and center,” said Erin McCardle, Executive Director of the Historic Downtown Chelan Association. “They inspire locals and visitors to appreciate and preserve the town’s culture, raise the interest level among our downtown building owners, and create additional opportunities to forge public and private partnerships focused on historic preservation.”
The HDCA and the Historical Society plan to continue both the historic plaque and wrap programs in the future. They have also begun development of a walking tour and QR code system to provide additional opportunities for the public to learn about Chelan’s history and built environment.
“The partnership between HDCA and Historical Society has elevated the preservation ethic in Chelan through community pride and education,” said Breanne Durham, Washington Main Street Coordinator. “These projects illustrate the importance of partners coalescing around shared goals.”
Excellence on Main, organized by the Washington State Main Street Program, celebrates communities, organizations, and individuals who are helping to achieve economic vitality and build sustainable communities through downtown revitalization and preservation. The Community Partnership Award is designed to recognize a Main Street organization and partner(s) who have demonstrated the highest and best degree of cooperation to benefit downtown revitalization efforts.
Routine arrest warrant leads to drug possession warrant
- Written by Sheriff Harvey Gjesdal
On 04/29/18 at approximately 10:30 PM, Douglas County Deputies received information that a warrant suspect, 20 year old Morningstar St. Peter of Spokane, was hiding at a residence on the 700 Blk. of Fairview Ave. in Bridgeport, WA.
The arrest warrant was for Escape From Community Custody.
They went to the house and knocked on the door. When a female, the renter, answered the door, the deputies inquired if St. Peter was there. At first the woman gave conflicting stories, then she went back in the house and came out with St. Peter.
St. Peter was arrested without incident and transported to the Okanogan County Jail.
Although the renter told Deputies she did not know if there were any additional people in her house, they discovered three males and one female inside. The Deputies also noticed drug paraphernalia in the house. The deputies secured the residence and applied for a warrant to search for illegal drugs.
The affidavit was reviewed by a judge and the warrant was granted. While executing the warrant the deputies found two small bags of heroine, one small bag of methamphetamine, and four glass pipes containing methamphetamine.
The investigation is continuing.
Largest airport rehabilitation project for WSDOT Aviation temporarily closes airport near Winthrop
- Written by Christina Crea, WSDOT Aviation Communications
85-day, $5 million project replaces Methow Valley State Airport’s 22-year-old pavement
WINTHROP – Methow Valley State Airport’s pavement is 22 years old. Later this month, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Aviation begins a $5 million project to replace and rehabilitate the pavement to maintain this crucial infrastructure.
The airport will be closed to the public on May 14 to allow Wenatchee general contractor, Selland Construction, to start the project. Methow Valley State Airport in Winthrop is the largest of 16 WSDOT-managed airports, serving commercial aircraft that weigh up to 30,000 pounds.
The runway is tentatively scheduled to reopen at the end of June to avoid interfering with the expected fire season operations of the United States Forest Service (USFS), conducted by North Cascades Smokejumper Base (NCSB). The NCSB is prepared to operate out of alternate airports as necessary until construction is completed.
Construction costs are split between the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and WSDOT Aviation. The FAA is supporting 90 percent and WSDOT Aviation is supporting 10 percent of the total cost.
WSDOT Aviation will issue an airport closure and Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), but will keep the airport’s Automated Weather Observing Station (AWOS) operational.
Three main phases for this pavement rehabilitation project include:
- Phase 1 – Rehabilitate runway 13/31 pavement: Remove existing aged runway pavement, install new stormwater drainage system, new asphalt pavement, and sub-grade improvements for the entire 5,049-foot runway.
- Phase 2 - West connector taxiway rehabilitation and widening: Remove an existing forest service non-standard taxiway connector, modify the west side transient ramp taxiway connector to meet current FAA design standards, and taxiway lighting modifications followed by new pavement.
- Phase 3 – West apron rehabilitation: Rehabilitate the west side transient parking ramp through additional sub-grade and pavement overlay upgrades.
Phase 1 and Phase 2 are scheduled to be completed within the first 45 days. Once Phase 2 is completed, WSDOT Aviation will open the runway for public use with west side transient ramp access restrictions.
A fourth phase to expand the west general aviation aircraft parking apron to the south will be advertised in 2018 for construction in spring/summer 2019.
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