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Wednesday,  June 12 , 2024

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News / Northwest

Plethora of I-90 projects coming this summer

By Cheryl Schweizer, Columbia Basin Herald
Published: April 23, 2024, 7:29am

VANTAGE — Travelers going over Snoqualmie Pass this summer should add pencil in a little extra time for delays due to road work, and not just at the Vantage Bridge. Most of the work is concentrated between North Bend and Ellensburg and will involve lane closures, sometimes all eastbound or westbound lanes for short times.

Crews will be working to widen Interstate 90 between the Cabin Creek and West Easton interchanges southwest of the Snoqualmie summit and rebuild the roadway and bridges, according to a press release from the Washington Department of Transportation. Part of that work involves adding lanes, which will require rock blasting.

Crews will resume rock blasting in May, the press release said, a process that will require closures of I-90 several times a week, starting one hour before sunset. The road should be closed for about an hour each time.

The rock-blasting schedule, and thus the closures, will change from week to week. The DOT will be publishing weekly updates of the schedule on its social media, or people can sign up for text alerts.

When crews aren’t blasting rock, two lanes will be open to traffic during the day and one lane at night. The project will continue each spring, summer and fall through 2028.

Slope stabilization is planned further west between Hyak and North Bend. One lane will be closed throughout that project, about three miles near Tinkham Road. Occasional two-lane closures are scheduled in May. That project will continue until the construction season ends in the fall.

Construction crews will be fixing bridge decks at multiple locations from Hyak to North Bend. Drivers can expect lane restrictions and lane shifts in the project area. That’s a multiyear project, extending through the construction season in 2025. A similar project with the same timeline is planned for the I-90 bridge at Cle Elum. Drivers can look for single-lane closures eastbound and slower speeds in the construction zone.

The major project, however, is the replacement of the Vantage Bridge deck. That too is a multiyear project, scheduled for completion in fall 2027. Work will be ongoing from April through October.

One lane is closed and the speed limit is reduced to 40 miles per hour. Both lanes will be open on weekends through the end of May, but after one lane will be closed seven days a week. Department of Transportation officials have said repeatedly that drivers should look for traffic delays, maybe long delays, on weekends during the summer travel season.