Interstate 90 is a lifeline for the Northwest, connecting people and economies across the Cascades and linking the region to the rest of the country.
For wildlife, though, it’s a killer — and not just because many of them wind up squashed. Multiple lanes of pavement and high-speed traffic affects habitat more ruthlessly than any fence, isolating populations and disturbing natural balance that’s the key to long-term survival.
But part of that barrier is now being lifted.
The state Department of Transportation recently broke ground east of Snoqualmie Pass on the state’s first freeway overpass for animals. The 150-foot-long structure is designed to provide safe passage for species ranging from black bear and cougar to deer, elk — and even squirrels, mice and lizards.
It’s part of an ambitious project to convert a 15-mile stretch of interstate into one of the world’s most wildlife-friendly highways.