A 15-mile stretch of Interstate 90 just east of Snoqualmie Pass is overdue due for an upgrade, and its getting one. Deteriorated pavement, congestion, substandard curves, exposure to avalanches, and collisions with wildlife pose risks to safety and reduce transportation efficiency. This stretch of highway is the transportation lifeline for freight and traffic connecting our state east to west.
The same stretch of freeway bisects an area that US Forest Service biologists have long recognized as “a critical connective link in the north-south movement of [wildlife] in the Cascade Range”. Washington State citizens and the United States Congress have invested over $100 million in recent decades acquiring and protecting nearly 100,000 acres of habitat to maintain and restore wildlife’s ability to move through and live within this landscape.
These two important corridors, an east-west transportation corridor and north-south wildlife corridor, intersect in what is known as the I-90 corridor. Its in this special landscape where the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) finalized a high quality design, after years of public and partner engagement, to expand and improve I-90 between Hyak and Easton. The I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project has a completed environmental impact statement and funding has been committed by the Washington State legislature for construction of the entire 15-mile project.
The total 15-mile project is estimated to be completed in 5 phases of construction by 2029:
The first 7 of the total 15 miles (also known as Phase 1 and 2A) are currently under construction, and to be completed by 2019. Phase 1 includes two wildlife underpasses at Gold Creek and one at Rocky Run that not only benefit terrestrial wildlife in the area, but the species living with the creeks themselves including a resident population of bull trout. Fish and wildlife are already using the wildlife underpasses, which you can see in the regularly updated photo gallery at I-90 Wildlife Watch.
Phase 2A includes the construction of the first wildlife overpass at near Price and Noble creeks. Click here to view a list of wildlife species that will benefit from the overpass once constructed.
The project has garnered diverse support for its thoughtful design and timely delivery. View this support and statements on why the I-90 corridor is so important locally and regionally for this kind of collaboration, innovation, and investment on our testimonials page.
WSDOT Contact Information
Brian White, Project Director
PO Box 12560, Yakima WA 98909-2560
Project Website: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/i90/snoqualmiepasseast