Correction: This story has been updated. The story previously misstated the date. The road was reopened Saturday Jan. 21, not Jan. 20 as previously indicated.
Update, Jan. 21 at 2:20 p.m.
From WSDOT: State Route 18 reopened at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21. State Route 202 should also reopen by sundown.
Washington State highway crews continue to get roads back in good shape after seven straight days of snow, ice, sleet, wind and rain.
“Drivers are anxious to have things back to normal and we are working to make that happen,” said Dave McCormick, regional maintenance manager for the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Crews are steadily reopening sections of road once they are cleared of slush and trees.
Power is still a problem for thousands of people and WSDOT traffic engineers. Engineers can’t see cameras or gather in-road sensor data on large sections of I-5 and SR 167 south of Southcenter. Backup generators are in place at the communications hub but the power to the individual systems is still down. There’s no estimate when those systems will be up and running.
Drivers are working to stay informed by using the WSDOT website. Each day of the storm, the website has logged more than eight million page views with thousands more signing up for the WSDOT twitter feeds. The most popular web pages are the WSDOT traffic maps and mountain pass pages.
Know before you go
- WSDOT offers several ways to get up-to-date weather, traffic and construction information before hitting the road.
- Carry chains and know the traction and chain requirements.
- Call 511. WSDOT’s driver information phone line provides real-time traffic, incident and closure information. Out-of-state callers can dial 1-800-695-ROAD (7623). TTY users can call 1-800-833-6388.
- Sign up for email updates and social media tools such as Facebook.
- Follow us on Twitter - @wsdot, @wsdot_traffic, @wsdot_passes, @wsdot_tacoma, @SnoqualmiePass.
--Information from WSDOT
Both directions of SR 18 between Tiger Mountain and I-90 are now open, as of about 9:45 a.m. Jan. 17, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. Several earlier spinouts have been cleared from the scene.
Snoqualmie Pass remains closed, as avalanche control work continues. The department now expects that work will take longer than the four hours it originally estimated, and a reopening time has not been announced.
Most mainline state highways around Puget Sound are bare and wet with snow falling in some areas, with a notable exception in Issaquah. Westbound state Route 18 between I-90 and the Tiger Mountain summit is closed until further notice due to multiple collisions.
WSDOT tweeted earlier this morning that there were multiple semi spinouts on that stretch of road.
Other travel news for state-operated highways:
Snoqualmie Pass will close at 7 a.m. for avalanche control. This work is expected to last a minimum of four hours.
Stevens Pass - traction tires are required.
White Pass - traction tires required.
Crews continue to treat roads with anti-icer, salt and sand. 193 plows were on the roads overnight between Olympia and the Canadian border.
WSDOT is doing the following for snow and ice:
- Travel-time information on the Web and on overhead signs are suspended. Travel times are not accurate during icy and snowy conditions.
- All ramp metering is suspended because it is difficult for drivers to stop and start during a storm.
- Lower speed limits will be posted on overhead speed signs based on weather conditions.
If you are heading out,, drive for the conditions and make sure your vehicle is ready for winter travel. Conditions on the road can change rapidly.
Drivers also need to be prepared and help us keep traffic flowing:
- Reduce your speed and increase your following distance.
- Use caution on bridges, overpasses, ramps, curves and elevated portions of freeways that tend to get icy first.
- Stay informed about weather and road conditions to help make good decisions.
- Plan ahead and allowing extra time to reach destinations.
- Drivers should expect lengthy delays if snow and ice mix with the commute.
- Use WSDOT’s mobile apps to stay informed about changing road conditions.
- Follow Puget Sound area traffic conditions on Twitter with @WSDOT_traffic.
- Check the Seattle traffic map and cameras, listen to the Highway Advisory Radio or call 511.
- Assemble an emergency car kit.
- Know how to install tire chains. This WSDOT video takes drivers through the process step-by-step.
Check WSDOT's travel tools:
- Seattle area traffic: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle/
- Tacoma area traffic: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/tacoma/
- Traffic cameras: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/default.aspx
- Travel alerts: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/trafficalerts/
- Mountain Passes: www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/passes/
- Traffic products for your mobile phone and other wireless devices:www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle/products/
- Call 511 for traffic updates
- Tune to Highway Advisory Radio and watch overhead electronic message signs for traveler information.
Editor's note: Information from the Washington State Department of Transportation