New lanes to open on I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass

New lanes to open on I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass »Play Video
SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. – Motorists will get to drive on a new stretch of road on the I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass in the next couple weeks. However until then, drivers can expect long delays on Snoqualmie pass which will begin this weekend. The freeway will be down to one lane in each direction starting this Sunday.

27,000 people drive over Snoqualmie Pass every day and during holidays that number almost doubles.
It's why the ongoing expansion of I-90 has been considered a necessity.

"We're going to take care of safety issues with rock fall and we're trying to reduce avalanche closures," said WSDOT Regional Administrator Don Whitehouse.

The stretch between Hyak and Lake Keechelus is growing from four lanes to six. The project has been underway for four years already.

"We're pretty much on schedule and on budget," said Whitehouse.

"They have some tie-in work they have to do. The big goal was to get these westbound lanes open and we feel they're going to get those completed on time," said WSDOT Assistant Regional Administrator for I-90 Construction Brian White.

Construction crews already blasted through enough rock to fill 84,000 dump trucks just to clear the space needed for the new lanes, along with a rock ditch and an extended area for drivers to chain-up.

"The chain up area gets full and those trucks actually stop in the lanes and then people can’t get through," said Whitehouse.

The three new lanes of the westbound I-90 scheduled to open October 19th, and crews tell Action News the newly-constructed roads will have a life of 50 years.

The state's ultimate goal is to make the main artery through the state safer for every traveler from big rigs to sedans. As well as to limit the closures even in winter weather.

The massive project on I-90 won't be done for another five years. Next week's closures could add two hours to travel time so be sure check the DOT website for the best times to cross the Pass.