Washington Roads - I-90

I-90 WB traffic gets a good view of the Seattle Mariners' Safeco Field before turning to the right and heading down to street level.

And here I-90 gracefully ends at 4th Avenue, about 3,115 miles west of its eastern end, and also facing east (by the end of the loop). No END signage, unfortunately, or outrageous distance signs.

Another interesting sign greets the beginning of I-90 from Atlantic Way EB, now renamed Edgar Martinez Drive. From this side, the easier stadium to view is Seahawks Stadium.

Seattle is blanketed with state-name shields for I-5, and mostly older ones at that, but I-90 gets a rare turn in the sun on Yesler Way EB turning onto 2nd Ave. Extension, ultimately leading to the west end of I-90 along 4th Ave.

If I could fix two things about this EB sign, it's the periods in "B.C." and the spacing of "North". Give me a crack at the full-width exit tab next. The shield atop the page comes next.

I'm blaming sunset for the quality of these WB photos. The I-90 pull-through BGS's only mention 4th Ave. S, which as you will see is not a long distance away. Incidentally, I-90 ends shortly after Exit 2, about 2 miles short of where you'd expect. While it was planned to connect to WA 99, that wasn't 2 miles. What happened is that I-90 is mileposted based on former US 10, which began out of former US 99 at the northern portal of the Battery St. Tunnel and followed surface streets through downtown to Dearborn St. where it then went over to the freeway alignment.

I'm blaming Seattle rain for the quality of these WB photos, up to the 1911 12th Avenue S. (or Dearborn St.) Bridge at the Exit 2C diverge. Rainier Ave. was once WA 167.

Aerial views looking northeast at the Mercer Island Floating Bridge, one of two crossing Lake Washington; the other, the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge on WA 520, is the longest in the world. However, the one with the arches, the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge, is the second longest, so that's not bad. It was also the record-holder itself for many years, since it was built in 1940. The ones without the arches, the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge - named after the designer of the Murrow - is the fifth longest, a missed opportunity if there ever was one. WA 104 holds the third spot, but there's an interloper, and you won't get there from here - #4 is in Guyana. (So is #6, for that matter.)

Heading west from Mercer Island to downtown Seattle on the Hadley span, passing both arches of the EB Murrow. When it opened in 1989, the Murrow was closed for repairs and all traffic was shifted to the Hadley for that time. This is normally not notable, except a length of the Murrow sank during a storm because the pontoons were left open to facilitate temporary storage of contaminated water. Never leave doors open in the Pacific NW. The Murrow didn't reopen until 1993.
On and between both sides of Lake Washington, I-90 has three roadways: WB north, EB south (originally the entirety of I-90), and reversible HOV lanes between them. Those HOV lanes are clearly visible between the two mainline bridges in my photos above. The interesting thing that you may have noticed in the third photo is that the HOV lanes don't make it up very high. The WB Mt. Baker tunnel is a double-decker, while you may also notice I-90 EB has to split into two 2-lane roadways to get through the original tunnels.

Pretending I'm heading back east toward the Mercer Island tunnel. The clouds hide Mt. Rainier to the south.

Back on the WB trail through the tunnel under Mt. Baker that opened in 1989 along with the bridge. The original tunnels to the south opened with the Murrow span in 1940 as well.

WB through the northern Mercer Island tunnel.

Why use 2di-width shields for a 3di? Oddly, EB at Exit 9, the signs look pretty new (in 2004).

Not that old, but quite poorly-made, signs at the bottom of the WB exit 109 ramp.

Looking northwest from WA 26 at I-90's Vantage Bridge over Wanapum Lake, built in 1962 to replace an older US 10 bridge that was being flooded out by the new Columbia River dam.

I-90 WB (heading south) approaching the same bridge.

Business I-90, Ellensburg

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Exit 10A to I-405
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