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Thursday, May 15, 2008 - Page updated at 07:40 AM

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Observatory to open for 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption

VANCOUVER, Wash. —

Highway crews expect to reopen the last nine snow-socked miles of state Highway 504 to the Johnston Ridge Observatory by Friday.

That's just in time for the anniversary of Mount St. Helens catastrophic eruption of May 18, 1980.

The visitor center at the end of the highway, 52 miles east of Castle Rock, will be open for the season on Friday.

The center five miles north of the volcano's gaping crater will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission to Johnston Ridge and nearby Coldwater Lake is $8. Children 15 and younger are admitted free.

Admission will be free for everybody on Sunday, in recognition of the eruption anniversary.

On Sunday, U.S. Geological Survey scientist Joe Walder will speak about the recent eruption and changes to the glacier because of it.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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