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July 4 traffic, left, gas tax, I-90
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Spring construction returns to I-90 to add auxiliary lanes

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Orange barrels are going back up around the state as the spring construction season is now underway, and I-90 drivers will have some challenges over the next few weeks.

You might have noticed that work has resumed on I-90 between Issaquah and Eastgate. The construction zone was active again this week as the state continues the project to add auxiliary lanes to the freeway.

New lanes finally coming to I-90 east of Bellevue

“It’s roughly two miles, both directions, of I-90 between the 150th interchange and the SR 900 interchange,” said Washington State Department of Transportation Communications Consultant Frances Fedoriska.

The auxiliary lanes will connect those two sets of ramps to give drivers about two miles of merging space as they enter or exit I-90. Drivers have been squeezed on I-90 through this section of freeway since August when the contractor put up concrete barriers on the left side of the freeway.

“We were able to put-up temporary barriers, which now allows us to build-up the inside shoulders, and then we’re going to push traffic toward the inside shoulders while we work on the outside shoulders,” Fedoriska said.

Those temporary barriers will be taken down over the next few weeks, and then it’s time for the traffic shift, which should come by the end of the month, as long as the weather holds up.

“We maintain all of the lanes that we currently have,” Fedoriska said. “The configuration is exactly the same. It’s just a little shift to the inside.”

Drivers should also expect upcoming temporary lane closures to give workers a safe buffer. The closures will happen during all hours of the day.

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This $76 million project is scheduled to finish in fall of 2021.

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