DOT crews blast their way to a new highway - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

DOT crews blast their way to a new highway

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SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. -- Department of Transportation crews are taking down a hillside one explosion at a time.

And for a few seconds of blasting, "There's a lot of pre-planning that goes in each blast that takes place. We have to review. Geo-tech engineers have to review that plan for each individual shot," said Bob Hooker, Washington State Department of Transportation.

They're adding a lane in each direction, a snow shed and several animal crossings, it's a huge undertaking. Crews drill for several days preparing for each blast.

"And they're roughly 25 ft. deep and we're drilling rock and it's about a 3 inch diameter hole across the grid," said Hooker, as he described the hole where the charges are placed.

I-90 is shut down between 8:00 and 9:00 in the evenings Monday thru Thursdays. The blasting may look small, but sometimes large boulders fall towards the highway.

The first five blasting's this week are just the beginning.

"There's going to be a lot of blasting. We're anticipating at least two shots a week from right now until basically through October," said Hooker.