Welcome to "Ask the Traffic Team," a Web page created to answer your everyday questions about traffic issues in WSDOT's Southwest Region. You can find common questions sorted by subject in our Frequently Asked Questions archive.
To submit your question, simply e-mail our Public Affairs office and provide as much detail as possible. You can typically expect a response with a week.
White Pass camera
Several people have commented to WSDOT that it’s hard to tell the weather conditions on White Pass because the camera doesn’t show much of SR 12. What’s going on?
Melodie from Chehalis wonders why WSDOT doesn’t have more traffic cameras and sensors on I-5 between Chehalis and Olympia? Is there a better way for drivers to get information about traffic conditions or collisions?
JB from Salmon Creek is frustrated about nighttime construction noise on I-5. Why must crews work at night and keep residents from sleeping?
Q: It's hard to see the road conditions on the White Pass camera. What's going on?
The image you may be seeing recently is actually the result of recent high winds on the pass which seem to have blown the camera’s position out of the “normal” position. We have notified the WSDOT maintenance folks responsible to fixing this problem and they will be getting to it as quickly as their schedule allows.
When we replaced the camera this summer, the updated equipment offers a slightly different angle and view than folks are used to seeing but does provide us in the traffic centers a better view of road conditions. While not as scenic as previous years’ images, from a traffic operations perspective it serves us much better.
Q: Why aren't there more cameras on I-5 near Chehalis, and how can drivers get good traffic info?
Funding is the main reason why we don’t have more traveler information devices – like sensors or cameras – on state highways. Often times we have to wait to add them on our large construction projects. With that being said, there are two new cameras being constructed on the Blakeslee Junction to Grand Mound project on I-5. These are typically one of the last orders of work, so we should see them online about the same time the construction is wrapping up. In the meantime, you can dial 511 to get up to date traffic incident information or use the following website: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Traffic/trafficalerts/default.aspx. Both of those sources will provide all of the current information that we have related to construction and incidents.
Q: Why does WSDOT have to work on I-5 at night near Salmon Creek?
First, I want to apologize for the inconvenience and noise that is being created during the night work. I understand it must be frustrating to try and sleep. The good news is that the night work is only expected to last another couple of weeks. The WSDOT contractor, Rotschy, is in the middle of adding a new lane to I-5 in both directions between NE 134th Street and NE 179th Street. Because the traffic in the Salmon Creek area is so high, a lot of the work that impacts the lanes on I-5 must be done at night with lane closures. This is done to ensure the safety of the traveling public and the workers. This work simply cannot be done during the day because the traffic would back up for miles.
The work that is creating the loud noise involves concrete saws and drills that are being used to fix the concrete panels on I-5 southbound that are falling apart at a rapid rate. This work occurs in the actual lanes of traffic and must be done at night with a lane closure. The noise is also coming from the operation in the median that is hauling in rock to build the base to pave the new lanes on I-5. This also cannot happen during the day because it is dangerous for the large trucks to deliver rock and stop on the freeway during the daytime when traffic is so heavy.
I understand your concerns about the noise that is being created, but would like to assure you that the contractor is working as fast as it can to get this work done in a timely manner, both for the neighbors of the project and to get the project secured before the coming winter rains. We expect most of the noisy work will be completed within the next two to three weeks if the weather cooperates with us.
The good news for your neighborhood is that a noise wall is being constructed along NE 17th Ave and I-5 northbound. This will alleviate much of the daily traffic noise that you hear today.
Thank you again for bringing your concerns to us; please feel free to contact me directly if you have additional questions. There is also information available about the project at the following website: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/i5/ne134thi205/
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