I used to live in Eastern Washington, and every Memorial Day (or other long weekend), I would thank my lucky stars to be heading West at the end, watching miles and miles of 0-mph traffic headed East toward Seattle near Snoqualmie Pass.
So, if you're braving to help you avoid burning that precious fuel in a traffic jam, we want to encourage you to follow the Washington State Department of Transportation's holiday weekend travel advice, and use their handy tools to plan your trip:
Drivers are encouraged to check WSDOT’s predicted travel volumes on all key weekend travel routes, including Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass, US 2 over Stevens Pass, I-5 between Thurston and Pierce counties and I-5 between Bellingham and the U.S./Canadian Border.
To help ease what can become long waits, WSDOT and its contractors suspend most state highway construction work from noon Friday, May 25, through Monday, May 28. The few exceptions include US 2 west of the Stevens Pass summit, where only one lane is open in each direction while crews work on stabilizing slopes.
Drivers should also expect delays on I-90 between Cle Elum and Easton and between Hyak and Keechelus Dam. Two lanes will be open in both directions, but drivers will see construction activity next to the freeway.
WSDOT offers statewide travel information atwww.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic, including traffic camera images, ferry schedules and a map of highway incidents and closures.
Drivers can also get real-time travel information via WSDOT’s online and on-the-road tools:
- 511 travel information hotline. For out-of-state callers, it’s 1-800-695-ROAD (7623).
- Mobile devices. Go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/inform to see how WSDOT provides travel information through email alerts and other tools, such as Twitter and Facebook.
- Overhead and roadside electronic signs.
- Highway advisory radio - 530 AM and 1610 AM.
Travelers whose weekend plans include a trip by ferry, train, personal aircraft or bus, should also make plans to avoid holiday delays:
- Washington State Ferries expects heavy traffic Memorial Day weekend, and ferry riders should consider traveling outside of peak times. Holiday schedules and other ferry information can be found on WSF’s website at www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries, or by calling toll-free 888-808-7977.
- Amtrak Cascades trains sell out quickly on holiday weekends. Visit www.amtrakcascades.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for more information.
- Visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/aviation/airports/Amenities.htm or call 800-552-0666 for information on state-operated airports.
- Most public transit systems will follow a holiday schedule, and some transit systems will not operate fixed-route or Dial-A-Ride service on Memorial Day.
Happy travels! If you travel to Spokane, take a snapshot and email it to me!