Monday, June 15, 2020

I-90 construction from North Bend to Vantage is underway

By Summer Derrey and Meagan Lott

After a bit of nail-biting anticipation of what this year's I-90 construction season would look like due to COVID-19, we now have a much clearer picture. Crews have resumed work with procedures in place to protect everyone on the worksite from the spread of the coronavirus. This includes personal protective equipment like masks, eyewear, gloves and physical distancing. While we have noticed lower volumes of traffic across I-90 over the past few months because of Governor Inslee's Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, we are still making sure we are minimizing delays for you due to construction.

So let's take a closer look at what we have planned this summer, starting with work on the Vantage Bridge on I-90 over the Columbia River.
As summer construction season gets into full swing, our crews have increased their personal protective equipment to safely work, like this crew member on the Vantage Bridge repair job.

Vantage Bridge
At 58 years old, the Vantage Bridge is an old bridge and in need of some repairs. It's been about 40 years since the entire bridge deck was replaced and we have spent the past four years patching approximately 600 square feet of roadway across the bridge.
So it's great news that our bridge crews will be making more of a long-term fix along sections of the bridge starting Monday, June 15. This work will be taking place in the eastbound lanes during the day and will require a lane closure. If your plans take you across the Vantage Bridge over the next  6-to-8  weeks you will see some minor delays due to lane closures.

This work requires removing old patched sections of the bridge, pouring new concrete and letting it cure for about 48 hours. This project is scheduled to be complete in late July or early August.

Meanwhile, in Ellensburg
In Ellensburg, we will be building a second roundabout and drivers will soon be able to ease on and off the eastbound ramps at I-82 at Canyon Road with fewer delays. This project is scheduled to start this fall. We are planning an online open house in July to provide additional project details. Make sure to visit our What's Happening on I-90 webpage to find out the exact dates of the open house.

Moving to the west
As we head west, crews are midway through a project to repair bridge decks crossing the Yakima River at Cle Elum and Ellensburg. Both bridges in the westbound direction are complete and we are now working on the bridge decks in the eastbound direction. Drivers can expect minor slowdowns through a detour at both locations during the day and at night Monday through Friday.
Travelers on the I-90 corridor this summer should expect lane closures like this on the Vantage Bridge as several jobs
across the state will be going on to improve safety and travel on this busy highway.

Up to Snoqualmie Pass
We are excited to start the next phase of the major improvement project to add new lanes continuing east of the Snoqualmie Pass summit. Starting in July, crews will be working on the detour for the project, which requires widening the westbound shoulder near Easton, and shifting eastbound traffic onto the westbound lanes. This detour will allow our crews to start work on building the new, wider roadway. We may blast some rock in order to make room for these new lanes, which will require us to close I-90. These rock blasting closures will be similar to the closures we did a couple of years ago, which will close I-90 an hour before sunset and we will notify you several days in advance of the closures. Make sure to check our What's Happening on I-90 webpage before heading out this summer.

Repairs in Roslyn
Near Roslyn, we are wrapping up the second and final season of work to replace sections of roadway, repair bridge decks and paint bridges. We are also replacing about a mile of the westbound lanes on the east side of the Cle Elum River Bridge. Traffic will be detoured onto the median with two lanes open at all times. Minimal delays are expected and work should be complete this fall.

Now to North Bend
Crews have been hard at work replacing the concrete panels between North Bend and the summit of Snoqualmie Pass. We are on the final stretch of the project and just need to make repairs to the shoulder, place drainage and put down some stripes in the westbound lanes. Work is taking place at night so you won't experience major delays and we should be finished by this fall.

Stay in the loop
As always, we have a number of ways to get information about possible delays and closures across I-90 this summer:
  • Visit the Snoqualmie Mountain Pass webpage for real-time travel information and to view traffic cameras
  • Download our free smartphone app to check statewide travel information
  • Receive text message alerts about closures and delays by texting the number 468311 with the words "WSDOT Snoqualmie"
  • Tune in to the Highway Advisory Radio at 1610 AM and 530 AM
  • Call 5-1-1 from your hands-free device
  • Sign up for email updates
  • Follow us on Twitter @SnoqualmiePass
  • For freight-related restrictions, please visit the Commercial Vehicle Services Road Restrictions website