Washout forces closure of 45-mile stretch of Hwy. 12

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- 45 miles of Highway 12 are shut down. Many drivers are being forced to take longer detours.

Paul Vik is traveling 5,000 miles through Washington. Or, that was the plan. He's 200 miles away from home on what should have been the last day of his trip.

"We just drove up and right here we got the warning that the Highway 12 was closed," Vik said.

More gas for Paul to find an alternate route. Something a lot of drivers are doing because a 45-mile stretch of Highway 12 near White Pass is closed. The shutdown affects both directions from the feeding station to the intersection with State Route 123. Transportation officials say too much water built up in one area of the mountain and the ground gave way.

"We certainly hoped to go that way," Vik said. "It's going to make it a lot farther to go another way, but the only warning we ever got of it was when we got right here."

Paul learned it will be closed at least through the night. He decided to turn around and head to Satus Pass adding a few more digits to his 5,000 mile trip.

"We're retired," Vik said. "We don't care when we get home, it's just more gas."

More gas for the 1,800 cars that drive this stretch everyday. Now, hitting a dead end.

DOT crews have officially shut down the 45-mile stretch overnight. There will be more information Wednesday morning.