The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in partnership with Snohomish County and the United States Forest Service (USFS), developed a feasibility study of the Mountain Loop Highway (MLH). The study limits begin at mile post (MP) 10.76 near the Forest Service boundary at Robe (Verlot), east of Granite Falls, and end at MP 50.87 near the Forest Service boundary (Clear Creek), south of Darrington. The length of MLH being evaluated is 40.11 miles, with special focus being made on the 14-mile gravel section of roadway between Barlow Pass and the White Chuck River.
The study identified feasible improvement options to improve access to recreational opportunities, while also improving operational safety and reducing maintenance. The study examined geometric characteristics, crash history, and existing and projected operational characteristics of the corridor. Existing and projected physical constraints, land uses, recreational and economic opportunities, funding constraints, and environmental resources were also be analyzed.
The study included a package of short- and long-term recommendations intended to address the access, maintenance and transportation needs of the MLH over the planning horizon (year 2038). These recommendations will assist the study partners in targeting the most critical needs and allocation of resources.
The Mountain Loop Highway Feasibility Study began in February 2018 and was completed in March 2020.