Project to Improve Dangerous I-90 & SR 18 Interchange may be Delayed due to COVID-19 Impacts on WSDOT

The Interstate 90/State Route 18 interchange is one of the busiest in the state. The interchange serves people who live in the area, in addition to freight haulers and cross-state travelers. Backups near the interchange are common during peak periods and busy travel weekends.

During afternoon peak commute hours, the exit lanes often back up onto 70mph I-90, causing multiple collisions in the area over the past few years.

To remedy this problem, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) launched the I-90/SR 18 Interchange Improvement Project and initiated design work in 2017.

Completing this project was scheduled for 2023 but may now be delayed to 2024 due to workforce availability issues. Mike Cotten, WSDOT Regional Administrator, wrote in an email to the project Executive Advisory Group, “I know that communities are heavily invested in seeing this project to completion, and it’s understandable this is disappointing news.”

According to Mr. Cotten, “There is a significant revenue shortfall to the department due to reduced travel and gas tax stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the reduction in revenue, WSDOT took proactive steps earlier this year by implementing furloughs and a freeze for new employee hiring and consultant agreements. This has affected the I-90/SR 18 interchange project as WSDOT could not bring staff on board to assist in completing specialized tasks for environmental permitting and documentation.”

Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson stated (of the proposed delay), “While this news is disappointing, we are relieved to have completed the temporary westbound onramp this summer. This investment becomes all the more valuable given this delay.”

The dedicated on-ramp project’s investment was approximately $1.2 million, divided by a 50/50 match between WSDOT and the City of Snoqualmie with contributions from the Snoqualmie Tribe and the cities of Covington and Maple Valley. More information about the I-90/SR 18 Interchange Improvement Project is available on the WSDOT website.

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  • They don’t call it the “The Highway to Heaven” for nothing! How many more will die! If President Trump were in charge of this it would be done, Covid or no Covid! Just like our government to come up with excuses!

    1. I agree that too many have died before government take action, but Trump has been “in charge” for the last four years. Between the time he took office and the 2018 mid-term election his party had control of the Senate and the House, his administration did very little regarding upgrading the Road Infrastructure. Next unfounded statement, please. 😀

    2. J, you crack me up! If trump was on charge, you know exactly want would happen – same as the border fence. Promises, corruption and nothing to show for it.
      Someone’s gotta pay for this, brother. Low taxes means nothing much will get done. Federal government doesn’t help, so as you can see, it’s up to the state and local communities to pay for this.
      Help chip in, though!

  • Good laugh..thanks J. Trump is in charge its hard to tell I know. Maybe you should contact Mark Mullet since he assured us Highway 18 is top on his priority list. I’m curious J are you one of those the car drove off the road people? Or do you believe drivers are responsible for actually driving the given conditions?

  • Living Snoqualmie