WATERVILLE, WASHINGTON – The Douglas County Board of Commissioners adopted a new permitting process for drivers of motor vehicles exceeding 10,000 pounds in weight to regain use of McNeil Canyon Road at a public hearing on September 19, 2023.
McNeil Canyon Road closed to the operation of motor vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW) on August 29, 2023, due to road condition concerns, redesign, construction, and accidents caused by vehicle equipment failure. The closure allows for Douglas County crews to complete topography analysis, roadway curve design and evaluation of the necessary right-of-way acquisitions needed for a planned roadway realignment and safety improvement project on McNeil Canyon Road, anticipated to be complete by 2025.
Interested drivers can find the Special Motor Vehicle Permit for authorization to haul on McNeil Canyon Road linked on the Douglas County website Transportation Travel & Traffic Alerts page, by visiting http://lfforms.douglascountywa.net/Forms/SMVP, or in person at the Public Services Building located at 140 19th Street NW in East Wenatchee. Most permits can be issued on the same day if the applicant can provide the necessary information.
The McNeil Canyon Road Special Motor Vehicle Permit includes the following conditions:
- The permittee shall have this permit within the vehicle exceeding 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight operating on McNeil Canyon Rd.
- The permittee is hereby notified that there has been an increase in the frequency of crashes specific to vehicle equipment failure at or near mile post 2.0.
- The permittee shall provide a current Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration inspection report to Douglas County if the vehicle GVW is over 26,000 pounds. The annual inspection report shall be for the vehicle, including each segment of a combination vehicle. This permit expires 12 months after issuance of the Annual Inspection Report.
- A mandatory brake check shall be performed by the vehicle operator prior to traveling down grade on McNeil Canyon Road. The availability of and use of engine brakes (“Jake Brakes”) is strongly encouraged where necessary and prudent.
- The vehicle operator agrees to adhere to the signage placed on McNeil Canyon Road. This signage includes but is not limited to requiring trucks to use low gear.
- The permittee is hereby notified that McNeil Canyon Road is a steep and winding roadway. It features vertical and horizontal curves that require care and caution to safely navigate.
- The permittee is hereby notified that a run-away truck ramp is located approximately 4 miles down from the top of the grade at approximate mile post 3.2 and there is a 12% grade with curves signed at 20 MPH downgrade from the run-away truck ramp. This is the only run-away truck ramp on McNeil Canyon Road. The run-away truck ramp must be used if the permittee has any doubt about their ability or their vehicle’s ability to safely navigate McNeil Canyon Road.
- This permit does not provide authorization to use McNeil Canyon Road during inclement weather closures.
Affected vehicles without a permit during the McNeil Canyon Road closure can use three alternate routes, including US Hwy 2 Pine Canyon Road, Road C NW (SR 172), and Bridgeport Hill Road.