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One of Whatcom County’s popular summer roads is opening early this season

See crews clearing Mt. Baker Highway to Artist Point 2019

Washington State Department of Transportation workers clear the final 2.7 miles of Mt. Baker Highway of snow each year. The road to Artist Point sees thousands of hikers and sightseers during the summer months.
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Washington State Department of Transportation workers clear the final 2.7 miles of Mt. Baker Highway of snow each year. The road to Artist Point sees thousands of hikers and sightseers during the summer months.

Recent sunny weather and a smaller-than-normal snowpack means the road to Artist Point will be ready earlier than usual this season.

The Washington State Department of Transportation announced in an email that it is planning to open the road at 8 a.m. on Sunday, June 9. Crews were able to clear the 2.7 mile section of road in just 12 days, nearly half the time of last year’s clearing, said Ally Barrera, WSDOT spokeswoman, in the email.

It is the second-earliest opening date in the last 20 years, according to Barrera. The earliest opening of the road in recent memory was on May 14 in 2015, a year when the snowpack was very low.

With the road to Artist Point getting open, WSDOT is reminding travelers that there is a resurfacing project happening on Mount Baker Highway. That will mean some single-lane closures with flaggers directing traffic on some stretches of the highway.

Dave Gallagher has covered the Whatcom County business community since 1998. Retail, real estate, jobs and port redevelopment are among the topics he covers.
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