All westbound I-90 lanes reopened near Issaquah after early morning landslide

UPDATE |  February 16, 2017, 3PM

Good News! Snoqualmie Valley commuters should have an easier time getting to work (or school, appointments, flights, etc.) tomorrow morning.

WSDOT tweeted just before 3PM that all westbound I-90 lanes near Issaquah had reopened after early an early morning landslide had caused a traffic nightmare for a good chunk of the day.

The two right lanes had been closed since the slide hit around 5AM. Around 8:30AM, crews had reopened one lane, but the right two lanes remained closed while crews assessed and worked on the hillside.


UPDATE |  February 16, 2017, 8:30AM

Around 7:30AM WSDOT crews were able to clear a one-lane pathway through the landslide debris field that stretched across all westbound I-90 lanes near Issaquah to allow vehicles trapped behind the slide to get through, but then closed all lanes again while crews continued to clear more debris and establish a longterm work zone needed to evaluate and stabilize the hillside at milepost 19.

Around 8:30AM the left lane again reopened to all traffic, but the right two lanes will remain closed as crews work.

The City of Snoqualmie was asking residents to avoid Snoqualmie Parkway and SR 202 while I-90 was closed. WB 202 was experiencing heavy traffic as drivers used it as a detour around the slide area. Snoqualmie Parkway approaching SR 202 was also heavily congested. The left-lane back up stretched almost a mile at 7:30AM, with drivers waiting to turn left onto westboundSR 202.

The Snoqualmie Valley School District also reported morning bus routes serving Snoqualmie and Fall City were delayed due to the traffic congestion.

WSDOT crews work to clear mud and debris from WB 90 near Issaquah. Photo: WSP

 

WB SR 202 backup at intersection of Snoqualmie Pkwy, 2/16/17


ORIGINAL STORY

WSDOT said a large landslide has all lanes of westbound I-90 blocked east of Sunset Way near Issaquah (milepost 19). It occurred around 5AM.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Rick Johnson stated via Twitter that some vehicles were disabled by the mudslide, but there were no injuries. Debris was covering all westbound lanes. According to the Seattle Times, 13 vehicles were stuck in 1-2 feet of mud, with one high-centered on a rock.

There was no ETA for clearing and reopening the lanes, but Trooper Johnson said as of 6:45AM crews were working to clear one westbound lane in order get traffic backed up behind the slide through the area. He warned that westbound I-90 would remain closed until further notice for clean up.

WSDOT had incident response crews on the scene who were assessing the stability of the hillside, which had water seeping out of it. WSDOT spokesperson Lisa Van Cise said they would wait until daylight, though, to send in geo-tech crews to evaluate the slope above I-90.

By 6:30AM the westbound I-90 backup behind the slide area stretched seven miles. Readers also reported heavy traffic on alternate routes.

Traffic is being redirected from WB I-90 to WB 202 at the Preston exit. Drivers can access I-90 from Highlands Drive (Issaquah Highlands) or via downtown Issaquah. Taking WB SR 18 to Issaquah-Hobart Road to Front Street is also a detour option for Valley residents.

NWS had warned earlier this week that due to the heavy snow last week and recent heavy rains, the risk of landslides was high in western Washington.

 

Mudslide on WB I-90 east of Issaquah. Photo: WSP

 

Mudslide debris across WB I-90 lanes, 2/16/17. Photo: WSP

 

Mudslide WB 90 east of Issaquah. Photo: WSP

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. That hillside has been seeping for at least a few years! A couple of times mud and small rocks made it across all lanes. This time looks like much more gave way this time. Glad to hear nothing more serious happened with those 13 cars!

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