Memorial Day weekend travel requires planning ahead

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With summer-like weather already here, travelers hitting the road this Memorial Day weekend should prepare for additional traffic — especially during peak travel times, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) says.

By following these steps, travelers can plan ahead for wherever they’re headed during the three-day weekend:

  • Check the WSDOT best times to travel charts to help plan your trip and avoid congestion.
  • Get informed about WSDOT’s online tools, including the WSDOT mobile app, traffic cameras and email alerts.
  • Visit online traveler information for traffic, weather and ferry schedules.
  • Follow WSDOT’s social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Pre-program your vehicle radio to 530 AM and 1610 AM for highway advisory radio alerts.
  • Call 5-1-1 for updated road conditions.
  • Allow extra time for travel to avoid rushing or distraction.

Most state highway construction work is suspended through the holiday weekend — including Monday, May 27 — to ease congestion. However, WSDOT asks that you stay alert for new lane shifts or work zone staging areas that may remain in place.

Snoqualmie Pass

No lane closures or other construction is planned on Interstate 90 from Friday, May 24, until to Tuesday, May 28. However, the usual holiday increase in traffic volumes means travelers should expect delays, especially eastbound on Friday, May 24, and westbound Monday, May 27. Receive text message alerts about significant delays by texting the number 468311 with the words “WSDOT Snoqualmie.”

Chinook and Cayuse passes

Both Chinook Pass, State Route 410, and Cayuse Pass, SR 123, are expected to be open in time for the Memorial Day weekend, but exact dates and other details are still being finalized. Check the Chinook and Cayuse passes webpage for updates as the holiday approaches. Both these passes close each winter due to weather and hazardous conditions.

Tolling

In the Puget Sound, weekend toll rates will be in effect on Monday, May 27, on the State Route 520 bridge. The Interstate 405 express toll lanes will be free and open to all drivers on the Monday holiday. Out-of-town travelers, including those using rental cars, can learn about toll roads and short term account options on the Good to Go! visitors page.

Travelers making a trip by ferry, train, personal aircraft or bus also should plan ahead to avoid holiday delays:

  • Anticipate heavy ferry traffic for the holiday and plan accordingly. Peak travel times on most routes are expected to be westbound Thursday and Friday, May 23-24, and eastbound, Monday, May 27. Check the Washington State Ferries website, www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/, or call toll-free 888-808-7977 for details, including reservations on some routes. Customers also can bypass vehicle lines by traveling as a walk-on passenger.
  • Amtrak Cascades passengers are encouraged to purchase tickets early and should plan to arrive at the station one hour before departure. All Amtrak Cascades trains require reservations. Visit www.amtrakcascades.com/or call 800–USA–RAIL for details.
  • For information about traveling via state-operated airports, visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/aviation/airports/Amenities.htmor call 800-552-0666.
  • Check with local public transit agencies for any holiday schedule or service changes, including some Dial-A-Ride and fixed-route service that may not run on holidays.

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