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Know before you go: long weekend could mean long waits

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Date:  Monday, May 21, 2012

Contact: Alice Fiman, WSDOT Communications, 360-705-7080 (Olympia)

OLYMPIA – Memorial Day signals the unofficial kickoff for summer travel, and the Washington State Department of Transportation reminds drivers to plan their trips before taking off this weekend.

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 at www.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.

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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 http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/news/ for pictures, videos, news and blogs. Real time traffic information is available at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/ or by dialing 511.


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