Monday, July 3, 2017

Despite all the construction delays, progress is being made to improve I-90 between North Bend and Ellensburg

By Meagan Lott

You’ve already heard about the construction taking place across I-90 between North Bend and Ellensburg this summer. You’ve watched our videos, read our blogs, followed us on Twitter and Facebook and even downloaded our app to prepare you for your trip. You know no matter what day, time or weekend you travel across I-90, you’re going to be slowed down this summer.

So this isn’t another blog about how you need to “know before you go” or “pack your patience,” because you already know that. Instead, we want to fill you in on the progress we’ve made in the four major construction zones between North Bend and Ellensburg.
Crews set girders on the new westbound I-90 avalanche bridge over Snoqualmie Pass.

Over the past nine weeks, contractor crews have resurfaced three deteriorating bridge decks, laid 50,000 tons of asphalt, poured more than 21,000 cubic yards of concrete, replaced 25 broken concrete panels, set 43 girders and poured concrete for two deck spans for the new westbound avalanche bridge.
Westbound I-90 through Cle Elum is getting new pavement.

In order to do this work, we have to keep traffic off the areas we are working, which is the reason you are driving through shifted lanes and detours. These detours and traffic shifts need to remain in place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until the work is finished because we can’t put you on torn up roadway and bridge decks.
Several bridge decks are being repaired across I-90 and traffic must stay off the roadway while it is torn up.

Before our contractor crews can call it quits for the summer, they still need to replace more than 460 concrete panels, repave six miles of existing roadway, build seven miles of new roadway, repair five more bridge decks, finish the westbound avalanche bridge and install the arches for the new eastbound wildlife overcrossing.
Work on I-90 this summer includes replacing 480 concrete panels.

Phew, that’s a lot of work! So needless to say, it’s probably still a good idea to remind you to continue to watch our videos, read our blogs, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, check our app, and visit our What’s Happening on I-90 webpage to help you “know before you go” so you can “pack your patience” this summer.
Arches for the new westbound I-90 wildlife overcrossing are being
constructed next to the existing arches in the eastbound lanes.

We know it’s frustrating sitting in traffic, especially on beautiful, sunny summer days. We hope that at least having a sense of the progress being made to improve this major corridor will help take some of the sting out of it, and we appreciate your patience.


RobertSeattle said...

I don't care what the other 3 million self described traffic engineers in this state say, you guys are doing great work. :-)

Tom Barr said...

Robert, we never claimed to be experts. We can though express our issues with communication.

There are no real alternatives to I90, so when WSDOT states this as a solution, it undermines their credibility. Have those posting this messaging ever driven those sections of I90? Have they ever seen first hand the impact? It raises real questions and we should challenge WSDOT to do better.

Unknown said...

How do the wildlife know where to cross? Are there detour signs for them? What are they doing while they wait for construction to be completed? Was there an animal psych on-hand to weigh in on these decisions?

WSDOT said...

We've provided the wildlife with board games and a Netflix account while they wait for construction to be completed. In all seriousness, fences will guide the wildlife to the overcrossing. Here's a couple videos with information: and

billybob said...

We should have kept the tunnel boring machine going all the way to Ellensburg

punchnrun said...

After living in Roslyn and traversing the pass more than once a week for two years, I think I have the experience to have a qualified opinion. I think there is not all that much to complain about. The roadway is rough in places but always passable. Closures for blasting are necessary. The alternative is eventual complete failure of the road.

I'm going to predict that once the work is done and wsdot goes back to routine maintenance there will be complaints about the impact of that too.

Unknown said...

I love seeing progress daily on this I90 project.
Can't wait to see it finished and how it's going to function especially the first bad winter.
Nice Ariel pictures. Are those drone shots?

charlie said...

I used to commute to Seattle from Cle Elum every week day for 3 years, I now live in the UK, all I can say is hand on heart the WSDOT are doing a great job and if everyone would slow down and pay attention to the signs all will be fine, keep up the good work lads!!

Unknown said...

So why wouldn't WSDOT look first at wintering ranges where concentrated amounts of all animals are focused, like Vantage, for instance. We're losing many more animals down there every year without any proper fencing along I-90 vs a summer Range like Gold Creek were far fewer animals exist, and even fewer automobile collisions take place?

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