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January 6, 2015 at 5:56 AM

UPDATE: All lanes of I-90 WB at Snoqualmie Pass now open

The boulders that caused the accident Tuesday morning on Interstate 90. (Photo by Trooper Darren Wright)

The boulders that caused the accident Tuesday morning on Interstate 90. (Photo by Trooper Darren Wright)

The Associated Press and staff reports

UPDATE 8:30 p.m. | All lanes of westbound Interstate 90 are now open at Snoqualmie Pass, the state Department of Transportation reports.

 

UPDATE 5 p.m. | The Washington state Transportation Department says westbound traffic is once more moving along Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Pass after rocks earlier rolled down a slope and were hit by three vehicles.

Spokeswoman Meagan Lott says one westbound lane reopened late Tuesday afternoon. She says a geotechnical expert said the area was sufficiently stable with the addition of a concrete barrier to deflect any new falling rocks. Officials hoped to reopen the second westbound lane within a few hours.
The rocks that came down before 5 a.m. Tuesday were hit by two trucks and an SUV. The State Patrol says one man in the SUV was treated for a minor injury.

Transportation officials say the slope had been blasted and bolted in an attempt to improve stability. The spot is six miles east of the summit.

Eastbound traffic was not affected.

UPDATE 3:40 p.m. | One lane of Interstate 90 westbound is expected to reopen at about 4 p.m., the Washington State Department of Transportation says. 

UPDATE 1:15 p.m. | Westbound traffic approaching Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90 will be blocked several more hours, until state crews can install 1,000 feet of concrete barrier to block any small rockslides.

The busy freeway has been closed since Tuesday morning, when fallen boulders caused a crash around 5:15 a.m., said Summer Derrey, regional spokeswoman for the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The boulder was removed shortly after the wreck, which may have injured two people. Located at Milepost 58, the site is close to where an old snowshed was removed in 2014.  A steep cliff is very close to the road.

Concerned about future slides, WSDOT is installing a Jersey barrier along the right shoulder of the westbound lanes.

“If we have rocks that fall to the shoulder, they usually bounced up, so we’re hoping the barrier will contain it,” Derrey said.

Eastbound lanes remain open.

Traffic is being diverted at Easton and at Ellensburg, a state travel alert website says.

UPDATE, 7:15 a.m. | Washington State Patrol Trooper Darren Wright says “good sized” rocks rolled into the westbound lanes of Interstate 90 about 5 a.m. Tuesday and were hit by two trucks and a car.

Wright says one person in the car suffered minor injuries and that person and another person in the car were taken to a hospital as a precaution.

Wright says the westbound lanes will remain closed until daylight when the state Transportation Department can assess the danger of further rockslides. He says the westbound lanes may not reopen until 9 a.m. Traffic is stopped near Easton.

There’s no snow at the summit but it’s wet after several days of heavy rains.

The Transportation Department tells KPQ one of the trucks that hit the rocks was empty. The other carried gasoline but there was no report of a leak.

UPDATE, 6:35 a.m. | The semi-truck and rock have been cleared from westbound I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass and backed up traffic is clearing, WSDOT said in a news release. I-90 will remain closed near Easton, Milepost 70, and at Ellensburg, Milepost 110, until daylight hours when the hillside can be assessed for safety, WSDOT says.

ORIGINAL POST | The westbound lanes of I-90 are closed at Milepost 61 near the summit of Snoqualmie Pass due to an accident involving a collision with a boulder, according to a tweet from Trooper Darren Wright of the Washington State Patrol.

A semi-truck is blocking the lanes, according to the Department of Transportation. Westbound drivers will be stopped at Price Creek, Easton and Ellensburg.

WSDOT does not have an estimate on when the accident will be cleared.

Comments | More in General news, Traffic & Transit | Topics: accident, boulder, Snoqualmie Pass

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