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Major construction delays over Snoqualmie Pass unavoidable this spring if drivers don't plan ahead

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Date:  Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Contact: Meagan McFadden, WSDOT communications, 509-577-1618

HYAK – If Mother Nature is true to her promise and starts producing spring like weather, construction is scheduled to return to Interstate 90 east of Snoqualmie in early April. Drivers need to start planning their trips now in order to avoid major construction-related delays.

Starting April 12, I-90 will be reduced to a single lane in each direction for two weeks, including weekends, in order for the Washington State Department of Transportation and the contractor to build detours in preparation for the 2014 construction season. Crews will also remove the 64-year-old snowshed.

“We can’t stress how important it is for drivers to know before they go and plan ahead before heading out the door,” said Don Whitehouse, WSDOT regional administrator. “During the single lane closures, drivers will need to change their travel plans in order to avoid delays of up to two hours. We suggest you travel early in the morning, go later at night, find an alternate route or postpone your trip until after April 25.”

This work is all part of the $551 million project that builds a wider, safer and more reliable stretch of I-90 from Hyak to Keechelus Dam.

WSDOT and contractor crews will also be working on a number of other projects east of Snoqualmie Pass later this summer to replace deteriorating pavement and improve visibility with new lighting and lane markings with solar-powered light-emitting diodes . Rock blasting also resumes this summer and drivers need to plan for hour-long closures Monday through Thursday starting an hour before sunset.

It’s going to be a very busy construction season over Snoqualmie Pass. In order to get through all the delays and back-ups, WSDOT has a wide variety of tools to help drivers plan ahead including the What’s Happening on I-90 , Snoqualmie Mountain Pass and Traffic Alerts Web pages. Drivers can also follow WSDOT on Twitter @snoqualmiepass or sign up for email updates . To help get through the single lane closures in April, drivers can access online travel graphs to find the best times to travel and the worst times to avoid.

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