Improvements coming to I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Improvements coming to I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass

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SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash -- The Washington State Department of Transportation plans on widening I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass to six lanes and straightening the winding road, but before work can begin, they must first take core rock samples from the steep mountain slopes overlooking the highway.

However, there are no paths or roads for workers to move equipment, so several times a day, helicopters deliver drilling equipment.

The low flying aircraft attract curious looks from drivers, increasing the risk of accidents.

"To prevent accidents," said Summer Derrey of WSDOT, "we are slowing traffic down before they see the helicopters. So there is less of a chance of getting re-ended."

The back-ups last for 20-25 minutes, and will continue until the end of October.

Construction will not begin on the road until Spring of 2010, but intermittent delays will likely continue next summer.