US 2/97 - 2008 Peshastin East Interchange Ribbon Cutting
A formal ribbon cutting ceremony on Nov. 19, 2008 commemorated the opening of the new US 2/97 interchange at Peshastin which began carrying traffic six months ahead of schedule. The original plan called for opening the interchange next spring, but traffic was shifted onto the new lanes and ramps in late October.

“This is an example of how creative people can come together, change the rules and solve problems in such a way that everyone benefits,” said Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. “Our staff, KLB and their subcontractors delivered the new interchange within the budget and before this winter’s snow.” The project team, led by prime contractor, KLB Construction of Mukilteo, developed a plan to build the interchange and equipment underpass in one construction season instead of two. The aggressive plan included an accelerated schedule and additional shifts.

Cutting the ribbon were Secretary Hammond, representing Governor Gregoire and 12th District State Senator Linda Evans Parlette who was instrumental in securing the funding and building consensus among the various interest groups on the final design. At 3 p.m., the skies were overcast, but no rain greeted the crowd that gathered at a new park and ride facility on the north side of the interchange for the ceremony.

Work on the $21.6 million 2003 gas tax-funded “Nickel” project began on April 7. Motorists patiently endured a temporary traffic signal, orange cones and a 35 mile per hour speed limit through the construction zone for six months, including three major holiday weekends.

The project built a new diamond interchange where the Stevens Pass (US 2) and Blewett Pass (US 97) highways intersect between Cashmere and Leavenworth in Chelan County. It addresses safety deficiencies identified in the 2002 US 2/97 Safety Corridor Study.

Some seeding and plantings as well as permanent pavement marking won’t be completed until weather permits, next spring. Visit the project web site: www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/US2/97_PeshastinEast_IC
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