Local Information

Heavy traffic expected along I-5 near Mount Vernon as annual tulip festival kicks off

Thursday, March 30, 2017 - 14:07

Andrea Petrich, communications, 360-757-5963

MOUNT VERNON – Get ready Skagit County travelers: It's nearly tulip time. While the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival adds plenty of beauty to the area, it also adds traffic along Interstate 5.

Delays may be longer than usual this year because northbound I-5 is reduced to two lanes in south Skagit County for a bridge-construction project. The bridge work—located about a mile north of Starbird Road—is expected to be complete in late April, but the two-lane configuration could contribute to longer backups. The Washington State Department of Transportation has also reduced the speed limit to 60 mph through the work zone.

"Tulip season is a beautiful time to visit Skagit County," said WSDOT Assistant Regional Administrator Jay Drye. "We just want to make sure visitors plan ahead before hitting the road and consider alternate routes to help ease congestion."

Alternate routes for drivers

Festival attendees aren't limited to I-5 to reach the tulip fields:

  • Northbound drivers can take the Conway/Lake McMurray exit and use Fir Island Road.
  • Southbound drivers can get off at the Burlington/Anacortes exit and follow west State Route 20.
  • Travelers in either direction can also take SR 9.

Drivers can also stay up to date on real-time traffic information with the WSDOT traffic app for their mobile device, or by following the WSDOT north Twitter feed.

Get Our Mobile App

  • Our Android and iPhone apps include statewide traffic cameras, travel alerts, mountain pass reports, ferry schedules and alerts, northbound Canadian border wait times and more.