Big delays expected on I-90 as state grinds 'slick' stretch of pavement

CLE ELUM, Wash. -- Drivers can expect delays this weekend while the state grinds a "slick" portion of Interstate 90 near Cle Elum after a string of crashes in the area.

The Washington State Department of Transportation on Tuesday, Oct. 2 closed the right lane of westbound I-90 near Cle Elum for the "safety of the traveling public."

This new section of concrete installed last year -- between mileposts 88 and 90 -- is slicker than other parts of the freeway.

"This new section of concrete was completed in fall 2017," WSDOT wrote in a news release. "However, a recent test of the concrete surface shows a subsequent reduction in skid resistance."

A 'slick' section of pavement

On Monday, Q13 News covered a major collision involving five semi tractor-trailers and three passenger cars.

Washington State Patrol Trooper Brian Moore said thankfully only one person received a minor injury and that person was not transported to a hospital.

Moore described the scene as "quite a mess" and said a couple semis rolled over and a couple jackknifed.

Nobody was seriously hurt, but the crash resulted in a major closure of one of the busiest freeways in the country.

On Friday, another crash occurred in the area. It was not immediately known if it was related to the slick section of freeway.

What's being done to fix the road?

Crews plan to grind the road over the weekend to increase friction and give vehicles additional traction.

WSDOT officials are advising drivers to use alternate routes if possible. US 97 to SR 970 is a good option.

Drivers could be delayed by several hours this weekend. The worst delays are expected Sunday starting at 11 a.m.

Here are some links to helpful information: