Six new lanes, one wildlife overcrossing, new bridges and culverts, and safety improvements are coming to a 2-mile stretch of Interstate 90 in Washington State.

The state this week broke ground on the next major phase to widen I-90 from four to six lanes and improve reliability and safety for drivers east of Snoqualmie Pass.

This phase of the project builds a new six-lane highway, stabilizes rock slopes, constructs new bridges and culverts, and builds a wildlife overcrossing, the first of its kind in the project corridor. Construction is scheduled to be complete in 2019.

However, the groundbreaking also means increased construction-related delays on Snoqualmie Pass this summer. Drivers will experience minor, periodic delays caused by single-lane closures and rolling slowdowns through October.

The start of this 2-mile section is an extension of the $551 million project funded by the 2005 gas tax to improve 5 miles of I-90 from Hyak to Keechelus Dam, scheduled for completion in 2018. The Legislature allocated funding in the 2013 transportation budget to continue expanding I-90 to the Stampede Pass interchange.

On an average day, 28,000 vehicles travel over Snoqualmie Pass, and traffic numbers double on weekends and holidays. Traffic volumes are expected to increase 2.1% every year, reaching an average of over 41,000 vehicles per day by 2030.

For more information, check the WDOT's "What's Happening on I-90" web page.