OLYMPIA – Make traveling on the last long weekend of the summer a little less hectic by tapping into the Washington State Department of Transportation’s array of traffic tips and information.
A great starting point for statewide travel information is the WSDOT website – www.wsdot.wa.gov. There you’ll find traffic cameras, travel alerts, ferry schedules and travel graphs with estimated travel times on the most popular holiday travel routes (i.e., Interstate 5, Interstate 90 and US 2).
“It’s a popular weekend to travel; traffic is pretty much going to be busy any time you head out the door, but I find knowing what to expect in advance and/or where to find the traffic info makes traveling much easier,” said Mark Finch, manager of WSDOT’s Statewide Travel Data Analysis Office.
To help ease congestion, WSDOT and its contractors suspend most construction work for the weekend. Workers will be off the road from noon Friday, Aug. 31, through Monday, Sept. 3. The few exceptions include US 2 west of the Stevens Pass summit, where only one lane is open in each direction while crews stabilize the hillside.
Drivers should expect construction-related delays on I-90 between Cle Elum and Easton and between Hyak and Keechelus Dam. Two lanes will be open in both directions, but there will be construction happening next to the highway.
Real-time travel information is available 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 for travel info via email alerts, Twitter, Facebook and smartphone apps.
- 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; ferry riders should consider traveling outside of peak times. Holiday schedules and other ferry information can be found 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 Labor Day.