SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. - Geologists are working on one of the first steps to improve a five-mile stretch of Interstate 90.
Crews are drilling into the earth in several locations between Hyak and the Keechelus Dam, analyzing rock and soil 20 to 90 feet down.
The samples taken will be used to help design a safer and more efficient highway up to Snoqualmie Pass.
The project has several proposed designs.
Engineers will use the samples of soil and rock to design bridges and retaining walls to address critical issues, such as, migrating wildlife, avalanches, and falling rock.
To help with traffic the new highway will feature three lanes in each direction.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2010.