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I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project

The I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project will improve a major passage along the Interstate 90 between Hyak and Easton, adding wildlife bridges and underpasses to an area busy with traffic and much frequented by wildlife trying to travel north and south across the roadway.

Safe wildlife passage in the Cascades

The Stampede Pass exit off I-90, tricky for wildlife to cross without bridges. Photo by Charlie Raines
Enjoy our latest video about I-90: Witness for Wildlife

This I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project is designed to improve Interstate 90 between Hyak and Easton, an area busy with traffic and much frequented by wildlife. Improvements to the freeway ranges from avalanche control on key sections to diverting wildlife over and under the freeway through carefully designed passages. It is supported by a broad-based group that includes Conservation Northwest, the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition.

The I-90 project design includes 14 key animal-travel areas, where one or more improvements will be made to allow for wildlife and waterways to better move across the interstate. Over- and underpasses will reduce tragic collisions between animals and motorists and provide safe routes for bears, elk, and other animals.

Black bear. Photo by Dave HeflickPassages beneath the freeway include creek crossings, wildlife-size culverts, and over the interstate, two overpasses, one at Easton Hill and the other at the rock knob by the Keechelus Dam. These 150-foot-wide wildlife bridges span the length of the interstate. The bridges will be fully vegetated on top so the animals feel protected  by forest cover as they cross.

 In 2008, the Washington State Legislature funded nearly all of Phase 1 of the project, and the Department of Transportation held a groundbreaking on first construction in August 2009. Still remaining unfunded are 1.5 critical miles, including the Rock Knob wildlife bridge.

Wildlife near the Trans-Canada Highway are more frequently using a variety of crossings at Banff National Park, in particular, grizzly bears. Adults are using the crossings and their young use them too.

Take a peek at some of the animals that could make use of these wildlife passages.

 

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