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Drivers express frustration, confusion over Snoqualmie Pass reopening timeline

Snoqualmie and Blewett passes opened Sunday after a days-long closure. Some drivers sat on the side of I-90 for upwards of six hours waiting for the pass to open.

NORTH BEND, Wash. — Sunday was a day of waiting for the cars and trucks hoping to get over Snoqualmie Pass. Vehicles were parked on the side of Interstate 90 for hours, waiting for news the pass was cleared and safe for travel.

"We're hoping to get home today, tonight," said Carol Collins.

Carol and Reggie Collins were trying to get home to Chelan Sunday.

"We've been here about six hours, not sure if it's still going to open," explained Reggie Collins.

The Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) reported early Sunday afternoon the pass would open, but it didn't have an estimated time of when that would happen. It later said the pass would open at 5 p.m. to get freight moving.

Click here to check the current pass conditions.

"This is vital to understand: the opening is to get freight moving, not for general travel," the WSDOT tweeted.

The statement left many drivers confused. 

"I think they ought to be more descriptive and more conservative about when it might open. Instead of us sitting here six hours," said Reggie Collins. 

Also waiting six hours was Don Grinde. He sat at the front of the line as he waited to make his trip home to Idaho.

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"There was a whole mindset getting up today," said Grinde. "Relax, it's going to be frustrating, it's going to be a zoo, but it's going to come out OK."

When Washington state troopers were given the OK to reopen the highway, cones began to disappear and so did people's frustrations. People waiting said they were thankful for the road crews.

Despite the confusion, general travel was allowed over the pass. However, the WSDOT urged people to delay unnecessary travel and give freight priority.

WSDOT crews cleared two narrow lanes and lowered the speed limit to 45 mph. 

As of 6 a.m. Monday, Snoqualmie and Blewett passes were open. The WSDOT said White Pass would “likely reopen Monday afternoon.” However, the WSDOT said it is “unlikely Stevens Pass will reopen before Wednesday” due to dangerous conditions.

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