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  • U.S. Route 97 in Washington


    In the U.S. state of Washington, U.S. Route 97 (US 97) is a route which traverses from the Oregon state line at the northern end of the Sam Hill Memorial Bridge in Maryhill, north to the Canada–US border in Okanogan County near Oroville. The highway serves major cities such as Goldendale, Yakima, Ellensburg and Wenatchee before continuing towards the Alaska Highway at the Yukon border as British Columbia Highway 97. Along the length of the roadway, US 97 is concurrent with State Route 14 (SR 14) in Maryhill, Interstate 82 (I-82) and US 12 between Union Gap and Ellensburg, I-90 briefly in Ellensburg, US 2 between Peshastin and rural Douglas County and SR 20 near Omak. An alternate route connects the highway with Chelan. The first segment of what is now US 97 in Washington to be included in the state highway system was a road extending from Wenatchee to Twisp, designated in 1897. Since, four early highways formed the modern route of the roadway: State Road 8, State Road 3, State Road 2 and State Road 10, all signed in 1923. The United States Numbered Highways were established in 1926 and US 97 was co-signed with all four state roads, including two concurrencies with US 410 and US 10. The state roads became Primary state highways in 1937, keeping their numbers from the previous system and US 10 was moved south in 1940 and its original alignment, including the concurrency, became US 2 in 1946. The Sam Hill Memorial Bridge, originally named the Biggs Rapids Bridge, was first opened on November 1, 1962, but the river has been crossed by a ferry at the same location since the early 1920s. During the 1964 highway renumbering, all four highways were replaced by US 97 and in 1956, the Interstate Highway System was established, including two highways (I-82 and I-90) concurrent with US 97. US 12 replaced US 410 during its extension west in 1967. In 1987, US 97 was moved across the Columbia River in Chelan County, establishing US 97 Alternate and decommissioning SR 151. Until 2006, US 197 was co-signed with SR 14 between Dallesport and Maryhill. The bridge deck was replaced between 2007 and 2009 and the bridge was closed in 2008. Five other minor projects, such as repavings and sidewalk additions, have already been completed, but eight projects have yet to be completed.

  • Vista Ridge Tunnels


    View at mid-tunnel eastbound. The west end of the Vista Ridge Tunnels The Vista Ridge Tunnels are highway tunnels through the Tualatin Mountains ("West Hills") of Portland, Oregon, United States. Located in the Goose Hollow neighborhood, the tunnels pass through a hillside locally known as Vista Ridge which is a half mile (1 km) west of downtown Portland. Sunset Highway, also known as U.S. Route 26, is carried through the tunnels, three lanes in each direction. They are Oregon's busiest tunnels. The eastbound tunnel is 1001.0 feet (305 m) in length; the westbound tunnel is 949 feet (289 m). Both have 41 ft (12.5 m) of horizontal and 15.58 ft (4.75 m) of vertical clearance. The eastbound tunnel was completed in 1969, the westbound a year later. There is a six-percent grade through the tunnels. Most of the tunnels' lengths are straight, though they curve southward at the west ends 35°. The tunnels were built with ventilation shafts which were never used. Instead, the shafts were later adapted for electrical wiring, so as to improve tunnel illumination without marring the tunnels' appearance with visible conduit. To improve tunnel safety for motorists, and decrease the tunnel lighting requirements, the original tunnel entrance faces were sandblasted to remove white paint and repainted a less luminescent tan color to reduce the range of visual light adaptation required by drivers. At one time there were computer-based electronic light controls, but they were replaced by relatively simple photo detectors and relays for durability and simplicity. The night lighting level is enabled permanently and is supplemented by two or three levels of daytime lighting. Except directly over the tunnels, the hillsides are steep and undeveloped forest, with some residential development along the top of the ridges. Landslides occasionally occur, but are usually minor and quickly cleared. The tunnels have been closed to hazardous material transport since November 1, 1994. As a result, US 26 is closed to hazardous material transport between I-405 and Oregon Route 217. The tunnels are located nearly at the bottom of a hill where the road gradient averages 6.5% over 2.25 mi (3.6 km). Close to the east portals is a 130-foot (40 m) tunnel underpass carrying SW 18th Avenue. Just outside the west portals is a 650-foot (200 m) tunnel under the lanes which carries eastbound Canyon Road from the exit ramp into Goose Hollow. The Robertson Tunnel for MAX Light Rail is underground approximately 800 feet (250 m) to the west.

  • Interstate 5 in Washington


    Interstate 5 (I-5) is an Interstate Highway on the West Coast of the United States, serving as the region's primary north–south route. It travels across the state of Washington, running from the Oregon state border at Vancouver, through the Puget Sound region, and to the Canadian border at Blaine. Within the Seattle metropolitan area, the freeway connects the cities of Tacoma, Seattle, and Everett. I-5 is the only interstate to traverse the whole state from north to south and is Washington's busiest highway, with an average of 274,000 vehicles traveling on it through Downtown Seattle on a typical day. The segment in Downtown Seattle is also among the widest freeways in the United States, at 13 lanes, and includes a set of express lanes that reverse direction depending on time of the day. I-5 also has three related auxiliary Interstates in the state, I-205, I-405, and I-705, as well as several designated business routes and state routes. The freeway follows several historic railroads and wagon trails developed during American settlement of western Washington in the mid-to-late 19th century.

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