The I-90 snowshed gone, so now what?

By Meagan McFadden

It took less than 48 hours to remove the snowshed, which is a lot faster than we originally thought it would take. So now you’re probably wondering why is I-90 still down to a single lane in each direction? Well there is still a lot of work to do. Removing the snowshed was just one piece; the other piece includes building detours, which is a lot like building a brand new roadway, but we only get three weeks.  We have to excavate material, haul in crushed rock, lay down asphalt and stripe the lanes. Closing a lane in each direction gives us more room to build the detours. Working between a rock and a lake creates a pretty confined work area.

We know I-90 is a major east-west transportation corridor in our state and that’s why we chose to do this work in April when traffic volumes are at their lowest and the weather is typically willing to cooperate. Unfortunately, construction doesn’t always take a holiday and this weekend is a good example. However, we are trying to limit the delays by opening two lanes eastbound on Friday and two lanes westbound on Sunday. If you have plans to travel this weekend and you want to avoid major delays, travel before 8 a.m. or wait until after 8 p.m. You can also check out our travel graphs online. You can also take another route like US 12 over White Pass or US 2 over Stevens Pass.

The good news, all lanes will be open by April 25. Construction will still be going on and you will run into some delays and of course closures at night for rock blasting. So make your trips a little easier this summer and plan ahead by using our tools: