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Originally published Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 4:29 PM

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North Cascades Highway opens earlier than usual

Washington Transportation Department crews have reopened the North Cascades Highway. Officials say lighter winter snowfall helped crews open the road nearly a month earlier than they were able to last year.

The Associated Press

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WENATCHEE, Wash. —

Washington Transportation Department crews have reopened the North Cascades Highway. Officials say lighter winter snowfall helped crews open the road nearly a month earlier than they were able to last year.

The highway reopened Tuesday afternoon.

It typically takes four to six weeks to clear the highway in the spring, but this year highway workers accomplished it in three weeks - clearing snow as deep as 35 feet.

A 37-mile stretch of the highway was closed for winter on Nov. 20.

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