One Step Closer to an Improved I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

One Step Closer to an Improved I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East

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YAKIMA, Wash-- If you've ever driven across I-90 in the winter you know it's in desperate need of repair. Old concrete, avalanches, and semi-traffic aren't a good combo for efficient traveling on this important connecting route.

"It's very important for freight. It's what connects us from the Seattle Puget Sound area to Central Washington to the rest of the United States. I-90 goes all the way across to Boston," said Brian White, Assistant Regional Administrator for Project Development.

DOT is putting to use money from the gas tax to improve the section of I-90 from Hyak to Easton. New lanes will be added with fresh concrete making for a six lane highway. A new snow shed will cover all lanes, preventing wintertime pass closures. Wildlife is another thing to consider.

"You make the highway a safer place. It's not safe to have animals on the roadway interacting with vehicles," said Jason Smith, I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Environmental Manager.

This will be done by widening existing culverts for fish and creating several land bridges for larger animals like elk and bear.

"They [land bridges] are fairly unique they have been used in other locations and they're documented to work really well," said Smith. 

"It really is a road way that connects us we want to make it a safer more dependable route to cross the pass," said White.