- Construction is wrapping up for the winter. Crews were able to get one of two new avalanche bridges completed this year as well as the westbound wildlife overcrossing.
The I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East project extends 15 miles from Hyak to Easton.
What is the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East project?
Interstate 90 is a critical transportation corridor connecting the large population and business centers of the Puget Sound with the agricultural industries and recreational activities of eastern Washington.
The I-90 traveler may experience congestion, delays due to avalanche closures, rough pavement conditions, rock slide activity and potential wildlife collisions on the highway. The uninterrupted movement of people, freight and business over Snoqualmie Pass is essential to our quality of life and the economic vitality of Washington state. WSDOT is expanding a 15-mile stretch of I-90 from Hyak to Easton to meet both the current and future needs of this transportation corridor.
How will WSDOT address long term solutions for the I-90 Corridor?
WSDOT is working with the United States Forest Service (USFS), the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Department of Ecology, Environmental Protection Agency, cities, counties, and community groups to develop a long-term vision for the I-90 corridor between Hyak and Easton. This effort culminated in a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that outlines improvements needed to meet projected traffic demands, improve public safety, and meet identified project needs along the 15 miles of I-90. The Final EIS was published in 2008.
What's the end result?
Travelers will experience a safer, more efficient six-lane freeway, minimized closures as a result of avalanches and rock slides, and a smoother ride due to new pavement designed to last 50 years when all improvements are completed. Wildlife habitat on either side of I-90 will be reconnected with the installation of new bridges and culverts, protecting both wildlife and the traveling public.
What's been accomplished so far?
Phase 1 - Hyak to Keechelus Dam
Phase 1 covers the first five miles of the 15-mile corridor from Hyak to Keechelus Dam. The 2005 gas tax provided $551 million to widen I-90, build and replace bridges including two new avalanche bridges, stabilize rock slopes and expand chain-up and chain-off areas. Construction started in 2009. The first three miles was completed in 2013 and the remaining two miles is scheduled to be complete in 2018.
Phase 2 - Keechelus Dam to Stampede Pass interchange
Phase 2 covers the next two miles of the corridor from Keechelus Dam to the Stampede Pass interchange. Project savings from Phase 1 provided $108 million to widen I-90, build and replace bridges, stabilize rock slopes and build the first wildlife overcrossing in the project corridor. Construction started in 2015 and is scheduled to be complete in 2019.
In 2015, the Legislature secured $426 million with the Connecting Washington funding package to complete the remaining eight miles of the corridor from the Stampede Pass interchange to Easton. The remaining eight miles of the project are divided into three phases and widens I-90 from four to six lanes, straightens curves, adds and replaces bridges and culverts, addresses wildlife connectivity and expands chain-up areas.
How can I get more information?
Meagan Lott, WSDOT communications