I-90 project gets a move on
Sep 09, 2011
Wildlife connectivity promised by latest construction savings on the I-90 East Project: a newly awarded bid for the latest construction phase moves the project closer to a first true wildlife bridge in Washington.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is using past project savings to help fund a construction contract awarded today for the latest phase of the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project.
Phase 1C includes rebuilding the avalanche snowsheds, an essential step in the eventual, full 15-mile Hyak to Easton freeway upgrade, and one that benefits all travelers.
The contract bid for the latest upgrades was approximately $20 million less than originally expected for this phase.
Thanks to direction from the legislature, the saved funds will remain in the I-90 corridor, benefiting people's safety, wildlife connectivity, freight mobility, and capacity. Down the line, the savings translate into an additional new lane in each direction along the much traveled interstate, as well as several new wildlife crossings - including the first wildlife bridge in the state - to help wildlife navigate those new lanes.
Scroll down here for a YouTube bird's-eye view and artist's rendition of the whole project.
"The award-winning I-90 project has received international attention for its innovative design, partnerships and educational outreach. We are excited that these funds will go towards the next phase of the project that includes the first wildlife overpass," said Charlie Raines, Director of the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition.
"When built it will be an icon of the Mountains to Sound Greenway," he continued, "not only providing excellent connectivity for wildlife, but also demonstrating the value of partnerships and sparking learning about wildlife and highways."