“Interstate 90 is the gateway to the world for many agricultural products leaving the greater Inland Northwest. Many people, from farmers to employees to vendors, depend on world trade to make a living,” said Mark Anderson of the Anderson Hay and Grain Company of Ellensburg.
Anderson and several other transportation advocates, business leaders, elected officials and conservation supporters gathered at Snoqualmie Pass to celebrate the first three miles of Interstate 90 reconstruction.
The Washington State Department of Transportation rebuilt this three-mile stretch of interstate, which now includes an additional traffic lane each direction and a 900-foot bridge over Gold Creek near Lake Keechelus for wildlife to pass safely underneath the highway.
Greenway board member Don Whitehouse, Regional Administrator for the Washington State Department of Transportation, led the celebration.
He was joined by Senator Curtis King, who expressed his appreciation for this highway project which is so vital to regional ports, and to citizens in both Eastern and Western Washington. Cam Gilmore, Deputy Secretary of Transportation for the State of Washington, praised the partnerships between government agencies, conservation groups, legislators and citizens to make this essential construction project happen. Charlie Raines of the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition applauded a transportation improvement project that also improves habitat connectivity in the heart of the Mountains to Sound Greenway.
The speakers gathered to plant native trees on the slope leading down toward Lake Keechelus and the wildlife habitat underneath the new stretch of highway.