Thanks to a donation of $75,000 from the Snoqualmie Tribe, the temporary access road from Snoqualmie onto Interstate 90 west is closer to becoming a reality.
With the I-90 and state Route 18 interchange improvements preparing to begin construction, plans to provide a temporary access road from the Snoqualmie Parkway on to I-90 west have been planned to help residents driving out of Snoqualmie avoid the impacts of construction and reduce traffic backup.
On March 27, the Snoqualmie Tribe’s Impact Mitigation Committee unanimously voted to donate $75,000 to the city to fund the project. The committee meets once a year to review applications for funding to projects that would mitigate impacts on public services such as transportation and human services.
The committee is formed of representatives from the Snoqualmie Tribe, city of Snoqualmie, King County and the state of Washington.
The project was brought to the city of Snoqualmie in January by state Sen. Mark Mullet. The $1.2 million access road plan needs to be funded separately from the full improvement funding of $150 million. Mullet recognized funding $1.2 million would be difficult and offered the city a 50/50 match with the state.
The Snoqualmie Tribe’s donation helps the city get closer to realizing the traffic adjustment. In addition to the donation from the Snoqualmie Tribe, the city council of Covington also voted to contribute $50,000 to the project. The city of Maple Valley is also considering donating to the project as well.
In a press release, Snoqualmie Tribe vice chair and Impact Committee member Michael Ross spoke about the importance of the project improving traffic flow.
“The tribe is committed and grateful for this opportunity to partner with the city in the effort to improve travel times while improving safety measures through one of the busiest intersections in the state,” Ross said.
During its initial proposal to the Snoqualmie City Council, the road’s construction was estimated to begin as soon as this summer if the funding is obtained. The road would be active through 2021 as construction on the interchange itself would get in the way of the road as part of a later phase of the project.
The city council encouraged the administration and Sen. Mullet to find a way to make the project last longer than 2021, as they thought a $600,000 investment on a project active for a few years would not be the most optimal use of funding.