As part of upgrades on Interstate 90, the Washington Department of Transporatation has announced that dozens of bridges are being repaired, slopes are being stabilized and many sections of pavements will receive necessary upgrades on the state highway system.
Several road improvement projects along Interstate 90 now through the fall are being planned and executed by contractor crews working for the Washington Department of Transportation.
Dozens of bridges are being repaired, slopes are being stabilized and many sections of pavements will receive upgrades on the Washington state highway system. There also are a number of new projects that will start to take shape along I-90, marking a very busy construction season for local contractors.
"This year there will be multiple projects along I-90," said Brian White, WSDOT assistant region administrator of design and construction.
As part of the planned upgrades, contractor crews also will resume work on the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project to continue building a wider, safer and more reliable stretch of highway between the Cabin Creek and West Easton interchanges. Rock blasting resumes in June and will be complete in the fall.
The I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project is a nearly $1 billion project that has been constructed in phases, with the fourth phase scheduled to begin in spring 2026.
The final 2 mi. of Phase 1 was completed in 2019. That included widening I-90; replacing and building new bridges, two of which are new avalanche bridges; stabilizing rock slopes; and expanding chain up and chain off areas. It also included two 150-ft. wildlife undercrossings and two 900-ft. long wildlife crossing bridges. Phase 2 and 2A covered the next 2 mi. of the corridor and featured similar upgrades, along with the wildlife crossings. It was also completed in 2019. Phase 3 widened I-90, built truck climbing lanes and straightened curves. That phase was being worked on as recently as 2021. The next phases will be part of the planned upgrades.
Along with connecting major metro areas along a freight corridor, the highway is a long established wildlife crossing. The U.S. Forest Service wouldn't grant WSDOT an additional easement for the road work unless the state agency complied with management plans to make those crossings safer for the abundant wildlife — and by extension, motorists.
"Using the easement was cheaper than buying land," said White. "But if we didn't deal with wildlife connectivity, the project would not be in compliance and we couldn't get the grant easement. We were going to have to figure out a different way to do the project."
For additional construction on I-90, there are approximately six planned projects that will take place over the course of the next several months:
I-90 Homestead Valley Road to Coal Creek
Project scope: bridge deck rehabilitation
Construction timeline: summer 2023 to fall 2023 (continues each year through 2025).
I-90, 2.77 mi. East of Tinkham Road
Project scope: slope stabilization
Construction timeline: summer 2023 to fall 2023.
I-90 Wildlife Crossing
Project scope: Icicle mitigation
Construction timeline: summer 2023.
I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East, Cabin Creek to Easton Phase 3
Project scope: Rebuild roadway, bridges and add lanes
Construction timeline: summer 2023 to fall 2023 (continues each year through 2028)
I-90 South Cle Elum Road Bridges
Project scope: repair bridge decks
Construction timeline: summer 2023 to fall 2023 (continues each year through 2025)
I-90 Vantage Bridge
Project scope: replace bridge deck
Construction timeline: August 2023 to November 2023 (continues each year through 2026)
I-90 Vantage Bridge Deck Replacement
One of the larger projects scheduled to resume spring 2024 is the replacement of the bridge deck across the I-90 Vantage Bridge. The bridge was built in 1962 and the last time it received a major overhaul was in 1982. Preliminary work starts in fall 2023. In 2024, the Vantage Bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction.
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