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The westbound lanes of the new Interstate 90 avalanche bridge will soon open at Snoqualmie Pass, which will allow the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to clear snow from the hillside without interrupting traffic on the interstate, King 5 reports.
WSDOT crews will be able to trigger an avalanche to help flush snow into the lake below without impacting traffic on I-90. A similar bridge on the eastbound side of I-90 opened last year.
“Previous winters, we’ve had to close multiple times a year just to bring down any of that loose snow that could potentially fall on the roadway,” Meagan Lott, WSDOT spokesperson, told the news agency, adding that the new bridge should cut closures in half this winter.
WSDOT warns drivers to expect some lane closures and delays before the bridge opens. “The major thing that drivers are going to be aware of is the fact that we will have single lanes as we make that switch onto the new avalanche bridge, which could cause delays of up to 45 minutes, so drivers just need to be patient and be prepared for the delay,” Lott told the news agency.