Local access road opens around Oso mudslide

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EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - A newly opened one-lane access road that allows local residents to bypass the Oso mudslide debris field proved popular on its first day.

Washington Transportation Department spokesman Travis Phelps says as many as 60 vehicles at a time lined up to make the trip Tuesday, guided by a pilot car.

The access road allows residents to get around a stretch of Highway 530 blocked by the March 22 landslide. The unpaved route is steep in places and the speed limit is just 10 mph.

The Daily Herald of Everett says the road provides a much-needed lifeline to the town of Darrington. It will save those residents a lengthy detour to travel to and from the Interstate 5 corridor.

Snohomish County and the state Transportation Department are working to clear Highway 530 but they say it will take months to remove all the debris and make repairs.

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