What is changing
- Creating a diverging diamond interchange.
- Widening two miles of SR 18, providing two lanes in each direction.
- A traffic signal controlled U-turn just west of the interchange.
- A new 2-lane bridge over Raging River next to the existing bridge.
- Two new 4-lane bridges, one at Deep Creek and one at Lake Creek.
- Replacing fish passage barriers with relocated, open channel streams.
- Improving habitat connectivity for wildlife including deer and elk.
Diverging diamond interchange
A diverging diamond interchange is a proven way to keep traffic flowing and improve safety by reducing the potential for collisions. The I-90/ SR 18 diverging diamond interchange will reduce conflict points from 26 to 14 – which in turn, reduces the opportunity for collisions by 50 percent.
In a traditional interchange, three phases are required to move traffic through the intersection, including a separate phase for left turns. In a diverging diamond interchange, through-traffic and left turns happen at the same time, eliminating the need for a separate left-turn phase.
The first diverging diamond interchange in the United States was built in 2009 in Springfield, Mo. More than 60 of these types of interchanges are now open nationwide, and more are being built. Washington state's first DDI is the I-5/Marvin Road interchange in Lacey.
Removing fish barriers & enhancing wildlife
As part of this project, we will remove six fish passage barriers in the area. We will also install two new fish-passable crossings at Deep Creek and Lake Creek. These new stream crossings will restore access to 13 miles of stream habitat that is essential for populations of salmon, steelhead, and other aquatic species. The new bridges built for highway widening will also allow wildlife to pass safely beneath roadway instead of over it.
In the Deep Creek watershed, this project will open access to 11.2 miles of stream habitat including about .75 acres of spawning area and 2.34 acres of rearing habitat. These fish are important resource for Tribes through their treaty rights with Washington and also as forage for endangered Orca in Puget Sound.
WSDOT has kept a close eye on the I-90/SR 18 interchange for several years. When possible, low-cost improvements have been implemented to enhance safety and keep vehicles moving as efficiently as possible as more people move to Snoqualmie Ridge.
- Extended the "exit only" striping on the eastbound I-90 approach to the SR 18 exit.
- Installed two new active warning signs on eastbound I-90 to notify travelers of stopped traffic ahead. The first sign is approximately two miles before the I-90/SR 18 interchange, and the second sign is about a mile before the interchange.
- Widened the eastbound I-90 off-ramp to SR 18.
- Changed the right lanes of eastbound and westbound I-90 to exit-only lanes.
- Partnered with the city of Snoqualmie to change the lane configuration on southbound Snoqualmie Parkway - making the southbound right lane a right-turn-only lane to the I-90 westbound on-ramp.
- Adjusted traffic signal timing at the two signalized intersections to operate the interchange as efficiently as possible.
- Installed “Thru traffic keep left” signs on both directions of I-90 prior to the SR 18 interchange to guide through-traffic to stay in the left two lanes and keep the right lanes clear for drivers exiting to SR 18 or Snoqualmie Parkway.
- Installed “No U-turn” signs on SR 18 at the interchange to prohibit U-turns that have caused congestion for the off-ramp traffic.
WSDOT is conducting a thorough and extensive community outreach effort throughout this project.
- In spring 2023, WSDOT will host an online open house. Stay tuned for a link to the website.
- In November 2022, WSDOT and design-builder Aecon hosted an in-person open house at Snoqualmie Elementary School with a chance to talk with project managers and drive the diverging diamond interchange simulator.
- In summer 2022, the project office and contractor teams hosted booths at three farmers markets in North Bend, Maple Valley and Snoqualmie to boost awareness about the project to local residents.
- In summer and fall 2018, the project team hosted booths at fairs and festivals and conducted stakeholder interviews.
- WSDOT formed a Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) for this project. A SAG is a group of individuals representing local government, businesses, transit, and other interested agencies and organizations. SAG members provided critical guidance, advice and recommendations to WSDOT to help select a preferred design.
- WSDOT held six community briefings in March and April 2019 to update community groups on the project and get their feedback on the design proposals.
- In April 2019, WSDOT hosted two in-person open houses and an online open house to present designs for the new I-90/SR18 interchange and widening SR 18 to Deep Creek.
Outreach continues through a series of advisory meetings, community briefings and future open houses.
SE 104th Street improvements
As part of the I-90/SR 18 interchange improvement project, WSDOT will add a flashing yellow warning signal at the Southeast 104th Street intersection to alert drivers on eastbound SR 18 of vehicles entering/exiting the highway at the intersection.
This project will be delivered through a method called design-build. This type of contract authorizes the awarded firm to decide if WSDOT’s proposed traffic revision is the best solution or to design a different, more cost-effective option. This means the new intersection could look different from the one WSDOT has recommended.
The project costs $188 million; $5 million from the 2015 Connecting Washington transportation package and $183 million in pre-existing funds from the state gas tax.