NEWS: State transportation budget allows for Mount Baker highway safety work

SR 542The transportation budget approved this year by the Legislature included a $50,000 appropriation for removing trees along a four-mile stretch of State Route 542 near the Mount Baker ski area. The appropriation was made through an amendment offered by Sen. Doug Ericksen.

A storm last December caused approximately 170 trees to fall on the roadway on SR 542. As many as 100 trees still standing have been identified as dangerous and in need of removal, a process the state Department of Transportation will begin next week.

“Removing these trees is essential not only for public safety but also our region’s economy,” said Ericksen, GOP-Ferndale. “Last year’s storm forced the closure of the ski area for three days, which translates to a loss of $500,000 to $700,000 in revenue. By being proactive and removing these trees before they fall, we’ll save money in the long run.”