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2011 Environmental Excellence Awards

For Excellence in Environmental Streamlining

Agencies Awarded:

U.S. Forest Service

Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)

Project Contributors:

Kittitas County

Federal Highway Administration

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Washington State Conservation and Citizen Groups

Washington State Department of Ecology

Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife

WSDOT Communications Team

WSDOT Executive Team

WSDOT Project Environmental and Engineering Team

Washington State Parks

Photo: © WSDOT

For Excellence in Environmental Streamlining

I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project

The I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East Project posed many design and environmental challenges because of the project's location in a high-altitude mountain pass, heavy traffic volumes, the presence of endangered species, narrow project corridors, and short construction work windows. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) collaborated with various Federal, State, and local resource and environmental agencies throughout the project development process to gather input on how best to improve mobility throughout the corridor while preserving and enhancing the surrounding environment. WSDOT also consulted with several Tribes, who strongly supported the project's ecological connectivity goals. Additionally, WSDOT worked with conservation groups, some of which acquired and preserved habitat lands in the area in support of the project. The collaborative approach taken by WSDOT and its partners allowed them to consider ecological issues early in the process, thereby streamlining the environmental review process and saving both time and money. Because of this collaboration, the preferred alternative that resulted from the National Environmental Policy Act process included elements to enhance wildlife connectivity and mitigate hydrological impacts while improving transportation mobility and safety. By involving resource and environmental agencies and other stakeholders early in the planning process, the project will better address the unique environmental and transportation issues within the corridor.

Artist's rendering of a section of the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass showing highway bridges over wetlands in a pine covered mountain valley
Updated: 11/1/2012
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