October 10, 2011 in City

Getting There: Prepare for Snoqualmie Pass delays

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Construction work on Interstate 90 between Cle Elum and Snoqualmie Pass has kicked into high gear now that the summer driving season is finished.

That means drivers should expect lane closures and delays on two big projects in that area.

Crews suspended work during the summer on a three-year effort to replace and restore pavement between Cle Elum and Easton for a distance of 10 miles.

Now, the state is allowing the contractor to reduce traffic to a single lane in each direction Sunday night through Friday morning.

Three lanes will be open on weekends, but only one lane will be open westbound Friday night through Sunday morning and one lane eastbound Sunday afternoon.

The result may be delays of 30 minutes, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

A contractor is replacing the concrete pavement of the right-hand eastbound lane. Damaged panels on the left-hand lane eastbound are also being replaced.

The $18 million project, financed with federal economic stimulus funds, is expected to wrap up next year. It is employing about 90 workers at the site and in supplying materials, according to the WSDOT.

Farther to the west, the mega-project to widen I-90 from four to six lanes near Lake Keechelus will continue to cause delays and stoppages.

Rock blasting will create hour-long traffic stoppages at 6 tonight through Thursday night, and the blasting delays should continue on weekdays until work shuts down for the winter.

In addition, the eastbound side of I-90 will be reduced to a single lane this week, and the westbound lanes will be reduced to a single lane at night.

To help drivers negotiate I-90 through the Cascades, the state has increased the number of traffic cameras along the route and created a new online map to help drivers see what’s ahead.

To find the map and the latest pass conditions, go to the Snoqualmie Pass Web page at wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/passes.

The Web page is especially useful for travelers with smartphones.

Travel conditions are also available by phone at 5-1-1. The system uses a series of computerized prompts to get the caller the right information.

Parking meters free today

In honor of Columbus Day, the city of Spokane has declared a parking meter holiday today.

Banks and post office branches will be closed, but city offices are open and garbage and recycling pickup will be on their usual schedules this week.

Part of Bridgeport closed

Work on Bridgeport Avenue from Division to Crestline streets has shifted to the west.

The segment from Nevada to Division is now closed for reconstruction as well as installation of water and sewer improvements.

The segment of Bridgeport from Nevada to Crestline is rebuilt and open to traffic.

The $2 million job is being financed in part by a voter-approved street bond dating back to 2004.

Elsewhere in the city, a job to install an 18-inch sewer line has caused closure of Upriver Drive from Freya Street to Frederick Avenue.

Work on a new Mobius Kids location has caused closure of the downtown sidewalk on Main Avenue from Lincoln to Post streets.

Work in progress at Sullivan exit

In Spokane Valley, the state has realigned the westbound off-ramp from I-90 at Sullivan Road, creating low-speed curves that drivers should approach with caution, the WSDOT has warned.

The intersection of Indiana Avenue and Sullivan Road will be reduced to one lane in all directions today through Saturday.

A contractor will be pouring concrete and striping lanes this week.

In addition, Sullivan will be reduced to a single lane in each direction from 7 tonight through 7 a.m. on Thursday.

Later in the week, both lanes of Sullivan may be closed from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. each night Thursday through Sunday morning.

Make room for tow trucks

The WSDOT issued a reminder last week that a new state law requires drivers to move over one lane if they can when encountering emergency vehicles stopped along the roadway. The zone for moving over is 200 feet before and after the emergency seen. Tow trucks are included in the law.

Drivers are not breaking the law if they are unable to move over because of traffic.

Drivers are also required to slow down and move over if possible when encountering emergency vehicles on two-lane roadways.


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