SNOQUALMIE, Wash. - The Snoqualmie Casino is offering a shuttle for its employees starting Monday.
The shuttle is part of the casino's plan to provide its employees a safer ride to work. It will operate between Covington and the casino on State Route 18.
It comes after two of the casino’s employees, a mother and a daughter, were killed on the highway while heading to work. Washington state troopers said, a driver, who they suspected was under the influence of drugs, crossed the center line.
Casino officials said there is a 7-mile stretch of the highway, between Tiger Mountain and Issaquah-Hobart Road, which is known to be historically dangerous.
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Officials also said there have been 25 serious injuries or fatal incidents on that stretch of highway since 2010. Four of those fatalities were casino employees.
Last month, state legislators allocated nearly $27 million in additional transportation budget funding to improve the highway.
In November, the casino and the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe lobbied for additional funding.
Both also offered the Washington State Department of Transportation $1 million to speed up the process of widening the highway.
"With over 40% of our workforce commuting over Tiger Mountain every day, the Snoqualmie Tribal Council put safety over profits by providing our work family with a safer and sturdier vehicle for their daily commute,” Snoqualmie Casino President and CEO Brian Decorah said.
The shuttle is expected to be operated by professional drivers that will be employed by the casino. It will run almost continuously around the clock, Monday through Saturday.
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