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Crews preparing to finish work on Snoqualmie Pass as construction season winds down for winter

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Date:  Monday, October 22, 2012

Contact: Meagan McFadden, WSDOT communications, 509-577-1618 (Yakima)
Summer Derrey, WSDOT communications, 509-577-1943 (Yakima)

HYAK – Drivers traveling across Interstate 90 have patiently waited to hear these words: Delays related to work zones on Snoqualmie Pass are almost finished until next year. Rock-blasting closures are done for the season, the new westbound lanes are open to traffic and roadside work zones will be cleared by November.

Despite very rainy conditions, a stalled semi-truck in the construction zone and a collision, all lanes of I-90 opened to traffic late Friday afternoon. Travelers are now driving on a stretch of new, wider westbound lanes and bridges between Hyak and Rocky Run Creek.

With just weeks left until crews call it quits for the season, a few things need to be checked off the list. Crews plan to close the pass from 5 to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22 and Tuesday, Oct. 23, so crews can remove loose rock and other debris above the roadway.

Drivers may also experience delays Monday, Oct. 22, through Friday, Oct. 26, due to a single lane eastbound closure near Cle Elum as crews work to finish making repairs to the South Cle Elum Bridge.

Since April, WSDOT and contractor crews have moved enough material to fill more than 21,000 dump trucks, closed the pass 29 times for rock blasting and poured more than 35 miles of concrete – roughly the distance of Felix Baumgartner’s plummet from the stratosphere.

This work is part of the $551 million I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East – Hyak to Keechelus Dam project, which widens a five-mile stretch of the highway from four to six lanes and improves reliability and safety.

The first three miles of the project from Hyak to the Keechelus Lake snowshed is scheduled for completion next fall. The final two miles from the snowshed – which will be replaced as part of the project – to the Keechelus Dam vicinity is scheduled for completion in 2017.

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