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Thursday, August 25, 2011
Alice Fiman, WSDOT Communications, 360-705-7080 (Olympia)
OLYMPIA – It won’t be quite as easy to know before you go this weekend.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) website, which receives more than 100,000 visits per day in the summer months, will get a much-needed update Saturday night. While the look won’t change, the upgrade will ensure that the services will be there when travelers need them in the winter months.
“We saw record traffic on our website in the winter of 2010, with more than 500,000 people visiting the website on one day in November,” said Steve Pierce, WSDOT communications director. “Making sure our site can easily handle half a million visits per day means drivers statewide can always find the information they need about weather and road conditions no matter what the winter of 2011 may throw our way.”
This maintenance, which consists primarily of upgrading key electrical equipment to handle the increased demands that occur during winter storms, will take place from 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, to 6 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 28. During that time, the following services will be unavailable:
• The WSDOT website (www.wsdot.wa.gov)
• The 511 traveler information hotline
• Data such as camera images and alerts on the iPhone and Android mobile apps
The outage may not last the entire time, but travelers are encouraged to find information about their Sunday trips before Saturday evening.
WSDOT will still have its social media tools available this weekend, but drivers should plan ahead for several construction closures and special events:
• The SR 520 mainline – all lanes in both directions between Montlake Boulevard in Seattle and I-405 in Bellevue – will close from 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, to 5 a.m. Monday, August 29
Saturday August 27
• The I-90 express lanes will open westbound from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and eastbound after 8:30 p.m.
• The I-5 express lanes will open southbound from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. 7, and then switch to northbound from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday, August 28
• Heavier-than-normal weekend traffic has been occurring on northbound I-5 in Thurston and Pierce counties between noon and 7 p.m.
• The I-90 express lanes will open westbound from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. , and eastbound after 3 p.m.
• The I-5 express lanes will open southbound from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and northbound from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
WSDOT keeps people, businesses and the economy moving by operating and improving the state's transportation systems. To learn more about what we're doing, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/news for pictures, videos, news and blogs. Real time traffic information is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic or by dialing 511.
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