wsdot logoTravelers on I-90 should plan for significant congestion Friday and Monday

OLYMPIA – Heading out for one last summer holiday weekend? Planning ahead could be the key to smooth sailing whether on land or sea.

Travelers can use the Washington State Department of Transportation’s traffic volume charts this holiday weekend to “know before they go” and help time their travel on key routes. In particular, this year, holiday congestion is expected on Interstate 90 near Snoqualmie Pass – especially westbound traffic.

I-90/Snoqualmie Pass

Bridge deck repairs in the westbound lanes of I-90 between the summit of Snoqualmie Pass (milepost 52) and North Bend (milepost 34) will not be complete by Labor Day as initially hoped. This means only two of three lanes will be open for drivers heading westbound. The lane closures are needed because portions of the bridge decks have been removed and traffic can’t be shifted back on those decks until new concrete is placed and cured. Drivers will also encounter lane closures and traffic shifts through the Cle Elum area (milepost 86) due to work to replace old pavement with new concrete lanes.

During the holiday weekend:

  • Eastbound travelers will experience delays on Friday, Sept. 1, and should consider traveling early in the day or late in the evening.
  • Westbound travelers should expect major delays Monday, Sept. 4, near the detour. If possible, travelers may want to leave early or possibly extend their return trip into Tuesday, Sept. 5.
  • The WSDOT I-90 travel charts do not reflect this construction work, but they can still be used as an overall guide to the times when the most congestion is expected.

Navigating congested areas

  • Slow down: Please obey posted speed limits. Speed is reduced for everyone’s safety.
  • Stay alert: Be especially aware of other vehicles and prepare for any sudden stops.
  • Allow extra travel time: Drivers delayed by congestion sometimes try to compensate by driving faster once the congestion clears. Instead, allow extra travel time or consider adjusting travel schedules if possible.

Know before you go

To ease congestion statewide, WSDOT suspends most state highway construction work during the holiday weekend starting Friday, Sept. 1. On Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4, the State Route 520 bridge toll will be on holiday rates, while the Interstate 405 express toll lanes will be free and open to all drivers.

Washington State Ferries passengers should expect heavier traffic during the holiday weekend and reservations are strongly recommended for the Anacortes/San Juan Islands; Anacortes/Sidney, British Columbia; and Port Townsend/Coupeville ferry routes.

Travelers planning to avoid highway congestion by traveling via train, personal aircraft or transit also should factor the holiday into their plans:

  • Amtrak Cascades passengers are encouraged to purchase tickets early and should plan to arrive at the station one hour before departure. Book nowor call 800–USA–RAIL for details.
  • Aviators can get updates on state-operated airportsor by calling 800-552-0666.
  • Most public transit systemswill follow a holiday schedule, and some transit systems will not operate fixed-route or Dial-A-Ride service on holidays.

wsdot logoStatewide partnership preparing for annual count Sept. 26-28

OLYMPIA – The number of people who choose to walk or ride bicycles as their mode of transportation is increasing in Washington each year. Just how many? Here is an opportunity to help the state find out. Volunteer registration is now open for anyone who wants to help count the number of people who walk or ride bicycles to their destinations during a three-day survey starting Tuesday, Sept. 26.

Volunteer support is vital to the success of this project, and about 400 people are needed for the count. In 2016, volunteers tallied more than 78,000 people biking and walking in communities across Washington.

For this ninth annual survey, the Washington State Department of Transportation and Cascade Bicycle Club are partnering with FeetFirst, Washington Bikes and Futurewise to help count the number of people bicycling and walking Tuesday, Sept. 26, through Thursday, Sept. 28.

“Data from this survey help state and local governments plan and evaluate improved connections for Washingtonians who walk and bike, in a similar way we plan for other modes of travel,” said Active Transportation Division Director Barb Chamberlain. “Volunteers make the collection process possible – we couldn’t do this work without them.”

This volunteer effort makes sure that people who bike and walk are counted as essential users of the transportation system. Data collected during the count is used by state and local agencies to estimate demand; measure the benefit of bicycle and pedestrian project investments; and improve policies, project designs and funding opportunities.

In addition to the annual count, WSDOT, Cascade Bicycle Club, and local agencies are partnering to install permanent counters at locations around the state. To see data from both data collection programs, visit the WSDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Count Portal.

Get involved

To learn more, visit WSDOT’s website, %This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">email Cascade Bicycle Club or call 206-954-4896.

To sign-up to volunteer, visit bikepedcount.wsdot.wa.gov

Participating communities

WSDOT and the Cascade Bicycle Club are asking volunteers from across the state to perform the counts in nearly 60 communities including Anacortes, Bainbridge Island, Battle Ground, Bayview, Bellevue, Bellingham, Bothell, Bremerton, Burien, Burlington, Concrete, Ellensburg, Everett, Federal Way, Ferndale, Gig Harbor, Issaquah, Kelso, Kenmore, Kent, Kirkland, La Conner, Lake Forest Park, Lakewood, Longview, Lyman, Lynden, Mercer Island, Milton, Mount Vernon, Mountlake Terrace, Oak Harbor, Olympia, Orting, Parkland, Pasco, Pullman, Puyallup, Renton, Richland, Seattle, Sedro-Woolley, Shoreline, Skagit County, Snoqualmie, Spokane, Spokane Valley, Sumner, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Reservation, Tacoma, Tukwila, University Place, Vancouver, Vashon Island, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Yakima.

WSDOT’s count is part of the National Documentation Project, an annual bicycle and pedestrian count and survey effort sponsored by the Institute of Transportation Engineers Pedestrian and Bicycle Council. The count will also help measure WSDOT’s progress toward the goal of increasing bicycling and walking to reduce the number of vehicle miles driven.

WSDTlogo450SEATTLE – After hearing from ferry riders during local community meetings, reviewing hundreds of emails, and gathering input from key stakeholder groups, the Washington State Transportation Commission took final action today (Wednesday, July 26) on ferry fare increases that will be implemented over the next two years. The commission made changes to its original proposal in response to public input, which resulted in benefits to passengers and bicyclists. 

The commission is required to ensure ferry fares generate $381 million in operating revenue between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2019, as required in the recently passed two-year state transportation budget for Washington State Ferry operations. The commission’s fare proposal accomplished that but increases to passenger fares and bicycles with trailers generated the most concern from the public. In response to those concerns, the commission reduced the passenger fare increase in 2017 from 2.5 percent, to 2.1percent. It also applied a fare increase to bikes towing a kayak or canoe; this does not change the fare for bicyclists towing other types of trailers. 

The final ferry fare adjustments adopted by the commission will take effect as follows:

  • October 1, 2017
    • 2.9 percent fare increase for small and standard sized vehicles
    • 0.8 percent to 1.8 percent fare increase for oversized vehicles (22 feet and longer), depending on vehicle size
    • 2.1 percent fare increase for passengers
    • Passengers who bring bicycles towing kayaks or canoes will pay the motorcycle/ stowage fare. All other bicyclists towing items other than a kayak or canoe would continue to pay the same fare as today (bicycle surcharge plus the passenger fare). 
  • October 1, 2018
    • 2.5 percent fare increase for small and standard sized vehicles
    • No fare increase for oversized vehicles (22 feet and longer)
    • 2.1 percent fare increase for passengers
    • School Group passengers fare will increase from $1 per group for a one-way trip to $5 per group for a one-way trip

For more information on the commission, and its ferry fare proposal and fare setting process, please visit the transportation commission’s web site:  www.wstc.wa.gov

wsdot logoOLYMPIA – Approximately $230 million in newly awarded state and federal grants will help more than 80 public-transportation agencies provide better connectivity, sustained service, new buses and other mobility improvements to people in every county of Washington state.

Once the Legislature passed the 2017–2019 budget, the Washington State Department of Transportation notified the grant recipients that they could begin utilizing their funds. These grant programs allow public-transportation providers to improve services to people with special needs, seniors, veterans and the general public in their communities.

“It is so important that all citizens have the opportunity to remain active and connect with their communities. No matter their age, income or physical ability, access to reliable transportation makes that possible,” said WSDOT Public Transportation Division Director Brian Lagerberg. “These grants give local providers the ability to serve the people who need transportation options the most.”

A wide range of transportation providers received funding for a variety of projects and services. Some of the grant recipients from around the state:

  • San Juan County: $120,000 to offer transportation vouchers for people with special needs.
  • Central Transit: $464,529 to expand services to the general public in Ellensburg.
  • Grays Harbor Transit: $2,085,120 to replace some of its fleet of 35-foot-long buses.
  • Lummi Nation: $586,945 to sustain transit operations between the Lummi reservation and Ferndale.
  • People for People: $2,509,918 to sustain services for persons with special needs and the general public in rural communities in Yakima County.
  • Intercity Transit: $885,000 to replace 40 vanpool vehicles.
  • King County Metro: $1,626,587 to increase service between Renton and Seattle.
  • Spokane Transit: $3,925,000 for high-performance transit improvements and park and ride construction.

WSDOT’s Public Transportation Division administers state and federal grant awards for transit agencies and other service providers across the state. These grants improve public transportation within and between rural communities, provide transportation services between cities, purchase new buses and other equipment, and provide public-transportation services for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

wsdot logoOLYMPIA – Drivers should plan for extra travel time Saturday, July 15, and Sunday, July 16, as 10,000 cyclists ride western Washington’s state highways and local roads for the 2017 Kaiser Permanente Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic.

WSDOT asks motorists to observe the rules of the road for safe driving around people on bikes and prepare for travel delays during the popular fundraiser ride. As state driving laws periodically change, drivers may want to review the state driver’s guide and the driving among bicyclists section.

Bicyclists should also be aware of their responsibility to follow Washington’s bicyclist rules of the road. The Cascade Bicycle Club distributes a free pocket guide about state bike laws with support from the Share the Road license plate sales; to request a copy email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The STP route follows state highways and local roads in these areas:

  • State Route 181 – West Valley Highway in Kent
  • Puyallup area county roads and city streets
  • SR 7 - near Spanaway
  • SR 507 – Roy to Centralia
  • SR 507 and 3rd Street – Yelm
  • SR 507 and Mossman Street – Yelm
  • Centralia and Chehalis city streets
  • County roads from Napavine to Winlock to Vader
  • SR 506 – Vader area
  • Westside Highway (becomes SR 411) Vader to Castle Rock area
  • SR 411 (also known as Westside Highway) - Castle Rock to Longview
  • SR 432 - Longview Industrial area
  • SR 433 - Crossing Lewis and Clark Bridge into Oregon

For more information visit the Cascade Bicycle Club STP page, which includes a route map.

Based on previous STP rides, congestion and delays are expected:

  • Early morning Saturday, July 15, on SR 7 in Pierce County
  • Midmorning to afternoon, Saturday, July 15, on SR 507 in Thurston and Lewis counties
  • Early Sunday, July 16, on SR 411 from Castle Rock to Kelso
  • All day Sunday, July 16, near the SR 432 and SR 433 Lewis and Clark Bridge between Longview, Washington and Rainier, Oregon

To aid cyclists and drivers, STP organizers, WSDOT and law enforcement have worked together to direct traffic at the following locations:

Saturday, July 15

  • SR 507 between Roy and Yelm (roving Washington State Patrol trooper)
  • SR 507/ Third Street in Yelm (police officers directing traffic)
  • SR 507/Mossman Street in Yelm (police officer directing traffic)
  • SR 507/Tenino Trail crossing (police officers or certified flaggers directing traffic)

Sunday, July 16

  • SR 411/Castle Rock area (flagger directing traffic at SR 411/ Public Highway 10)
  • SR 411 between Castle Rock and Longview (roving WSP trooper)
  • SR 411/Lexington/Riverside County Park area (police officers directing traffic at SR 411 and Riverside County Park)
  • SR 432/433 in Longview at the Lewis and Clark Bridge (WSP, flaggers and motorcycle escort)

Drivers on SR 432 can expect delays of up to 20 minutes from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Sunday, July 16.  WSP and flaggers will stop southbound drivers on SR 433 so STP riders can cross the Lewis and Clark Bridge, escorted by Gold Wing motorcycle club members. Riders crossing the bridge on Saturday will not have a bridge escort and are expected to ride with traffic.

Major bicycle events like the STP are part of Washington’s outdoor recreation economy. A 2014 study found that bicycling contributes over $3.1 billion per year in direct expenditures in Washington state. In 2016, Congress passed a law to track outdoor recreation as a specific element of GDP, reflecting its role in the national economy.

wsdot logoOLYMPIA – Drivers who use the State Route 520 Bridge will see toll rates increase beginning Saturday, July 1. Toll payers will see a 5 percent increase in weekday and weekend toll rates, and nighttime tolling will begin at a flat rate of $1.25 per crossing. Toll revenue is required and on track to generate $1.2 billion to cover a portion of the new bridge’s cost.

These increases were approved by the Washington State Transportation Commission in May 2016, following a public comment period and after public meetings were conducted. The across-the-board 5 percent increase equates to 20 cents for peak period tolls (increasing from $4.10 to $4.30 for Good To Go! pass holders). Overnight travel between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., formerly toll-free, will now cost $1.25 per crossing for those with a Good To Go! pass. The additional $2 per crossing Pay By Mail charge for drivers who do not have a Good To Go! pass has not changed.

The commission, in cooperation with Washington State Department of Transportation leadership, has prioritized keeping toll rates on the SR 520 Bridge as low as possible for all toll payers while still raising the revenue required to help pay for the new bridge.

wsdot traffic map

wsdot logoCommunity leaders meet with commissioners in Leavenworth

LEAVENWORTH – Local officials and community leaders from Leavenworth and North Central Washington will meet with the Washington State Transportation Commission next week to share their perspectives on transportation issues, challenges and successes.

The meeting takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, in the Council Chambers, Leavenworth City Hall, 700 US Highway 2. This is a public meeting and persons wishing to speak to the commission may do so during the public comment period scheduled for 4:45 p.m.

The meeting features a series of short presentations on transportation topics in the region, including how transportation serves tourism, agriculture and economic development. The agenda includes briefings on the transportation needs in Leavenworth, Cashmere and Wenatchee, as well as Chelan and Okanogan counties.

Representatives from the Cascade Loop Association, and the chambers of commerce in Leavenworth, Chelan and the Wenatchee Valley, will describe how transportation is essential to tourism and recreation in North Central Washington. Topics will include congestion, pedestrian safety, passenger train service, and electric charging stations. The commission also will learn about “Revisiting Washington,” an online interactive travel app based on the 1941 Works Progress Administration guidebook that is designed to help promote historic preservation and heritage tourism.

The connections between transportation and economic development begin with the traditional agricultural economy and include new development efforts in the digital economy. Representatives from the agricultural industry, the ports of Chelan and Douglas counties, and the City of Wenatchee will discuss how rail, highway and air transportation are critical to economic vitality. 

The Washington State Transportation Commission holds several meetings throughout the state each year to gain insight from local government, industry and citizens about transportation issues that affect their communities and region. This information helps the commission to develop and implement transportation policies and recommendations to the State Legislature and Governor that reflect the priorities of the people and local governments throughout the State of Washington. In 2017, the commission also will meet in Friday Harbor, Kent, and Spokane Valley.

For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/

wsdot logoEASTON – Work to repair deteriorated sections of Interstate 90 near Easton is still scheduled to take place Saturday. Next week construction-related delays continue east of Snoqualmie Pass.  The Washington State Department of Transportation plans to remove and replace sections of deteriorating asphalt in the westbound lanes between Easton and the Cabin Creek area between mileposts 63 to 67. Drivers should plan for delays between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 29. This work is weather dependent and may need to be canceled and rescheduled.

Drivers will experience delays due to daytime rolling slowdowns and nighttime lane closures east of the Snoqualmie Pass Summit to the Price Creek area between mileposts 57 to 62. The eastbound lanes near Cle Elum between mileposts 87 to 93 will be reduced to a single lane 24 hours a day Monday, May 1 through Friday, May 5.

Bridge deck repairs start in various locations on Monday, May 1 and will cause delays for drivers during the day throughout the week due to lane closures in both directions near Easton between mileposts 75 to 76 and Ellensburg between mileposts 97 to 98.

WSDOT provides a variety of tools to help plan your trip over Snoqualmie Pass:

 

wsdot logoThis work is weather dependent

 

EASTON – A harsh winter and heavy traffic is causing a section of Interstate 90 near Easton to deteriorate quickly and an emergency repair is schedule for Saturday.

The Washington State Department of Transportation plans to remove and replace sections of deteriorating asphalt in the westbound lanes between Easton and the Cabin Creek area. Drivers should plan for delays between 5 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 29.

This work is weather dependent and may need to be canceled and rescheduled.

 

WSDOT provides a variety of tools to help plan your trip over Snoqualmie Pass:

 

 

·       Follow us on Twitter @snoqualmiepass.

 

·       Visit the Snoqualmie Mountain Pass Web page for real-time travel information and to view traffic cameras.

 

·       Check the weekly Construction Updates and Traffic pages for region-wide updates.

 

·       Tune into the Highway Advisory Radio at 1610 AM and 530 AM.