News Around the Valley: I-90 interchange update, holiday happenings, fundraisers

Treehouse fundraiser

Treehouse, a Washington state nonprofit that partners with youth in foster care, has announced the launch of its annual holiday drive. The drive will be virtual, and split among two options for safety during the pandemic.

The organization supports some 8,000 youth statewide.

Community members can get involved by either hosting a donation drive, or shopping on Treehouse’s holiday wish list.

More information can be found at

I-90/SR 18 project delayed

The I-90 and State Route 18 interchange project has been delayed due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project, which is being conducted by the Washington State Department of Transportation and includes improvements to the interchange like a dedicated on-ramp, has had its completion date pushed back one year to 2024.

The setback is due to issues related to workforce availability, a press release from the city of Snoqualmie states.

“There is a significant revenue shortfall to the department due to reduced travel and gas tax stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the reduction in revenue, WSDOT took proactive steps earlier this year by implementing furloughs, and a freeze for new employee hiring and consultant agreements. This has affected the I-90/SR 18 interchange project as WSDOT was unable to bring staff onboard to assist in completing specialized tasks for environmental permitting and documentation,” Mike Cotton, state Department of Transportation regional administrator, said in the press release.

The project will cost roughly $1.2 million, which is split between the state and the city of Snoqualmie. The Snoqualmie Tribe and the cities of Covington and Maple Valley also contributed.

DirtFish toy drive

DirtFish, Snoqualmie’s local rally car school, will be hosting a toy drive on Dec. 12 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Members of the Drivers Club will be driving from Redmond to DirtFish in Snoqualmie in their sports cars and delivering toys.

Holiday happenings

The city of North Bend has found a community Christmas tree from the Christmas Creek Tree Farm. The tree was delivered last week and will be set up in downtown North Bend.

Snoqualmie Winter Lights is returning with 12 light displays for holiday photos. A map of destinations is available on the city’s website.

The Yuletide Express is returning this year, offering 25 minute holiday excursions from Nov. 28 to Dec. 19. The train leaves from the Snoqualmie Depot, and is seasonally decorated. The train travels west to Snoqualmie Falls. Each child will receive a small gift from Santa, and each ticket-holder will get two cookies. Face coverings and masks are required. Tickets are available online at

Medicare deadline

The deadline for selecting Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan coverage for 2021 ends Dec. 7.

Plans can be found on the Medicare Plan Finder.