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Why does Snoqualmie Pass close?
In the summer, Snoqualmie Pass experiences closures and delays from construction, rock blasting, maintenance activities and to clear accidents.
In the winter, Snoqualmie Pass experiences closures and delays from the weather, avalanches, avalanche control work, to clear accidents and to remove snow and ice.
Why has Snoqualmie Pass been closed for collisions more this winter than the previous four years?
To date Snoqualmie Pass has been closed 121 hours for collisions and 76 hours for Avalanche control for a total of 197 hours (Eastbound lanes were 101 hours, and Westbound lanes were 96 hours). The pass has had record breaking snow fall this season with December receiving 193.3". The week of 12/18 thru 12/24 was the snowiest 7-day period in Snoqualmie Pass history with a record snowfall of 112".
75 of the 121 hours of closures involving collisions occurred during this record breaking period. 103 of the 121 hours of closures occurred the week of 12/24/15. During the week of 12/24/15, 92% of these closures involving collisions occurred during a 24-hour period beginning 12/23/15. Snoqualmie pass received 37" of snow during this same 24-hour period. During events such as these, resources and efforts have to be shifted from normal snow removal activities to clear the roads of collisions.
In addition, 21 hours of the 121 hours of collision closure were related to two separate incidents involving tanker truck rollovers that created unsafe conditions on the road. Another 15 hours of the 121 hours of collision closures were due to the investigation of a multi-vehicle accident involving fatalities.
The majority of these recorded collisions could be prevented by adhering to speed reduction, using proper traction devices, and obeying WSDOT's advanced warnings.
View 2015-16 closures in relation to snowfall
View historical closures related to snowfall
How much snow falls on Snoqualmie?
View historical snowfall totals