- Written by Barbara LaBoe, WSDOT communications
Use WSDOT tools to help prepare for holiday weekend traffic
OLYMPIA – With summer drawing to a close, travelers during the Labor Day weekend should plan ahead for extra congestion, including allowing extra time and traveling during non-peak times if possible.
Checking the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Labor Day weekend traffic volume charts when planning trips can help determine best times to travel on key routes. There will not be travel charts for the I-5 US-Canadian border crossing this year because the border has not been reopened long enough to provide for good analysis. Travelers should also check ahead for any COVID-19 safety requirements at their destinations or stops along the way.
By following these steps, travelers can “know before they go” and plan ahead, whether they’re just traveling across town or across the state:
- 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 the vehicle radio to 530 AM and 1610 AM for highway advisory radio alerts.
- Call 5-1-1 for updated road conditions.
- Have a backup outdoor plan if the first choice of an outdoor location is full and never park along road shoulders, as this is unsafe for everyone on the roadway.
- Carry extra food and water as well as extra masks and hand sanitizer as an added precaution for emergencies or unexpected stops.
- Keep vehicles at least a quarter full of fuel throughout travel. The state Department of Commerce says with many people still driving rather than flying, there could be local delays in fuel deliveries during heavy travel weekends. Downloading an app that identifies nearby gas stations may be helpful if traveling in a different part of the state, as will buying only the fuel needed and leaving enough for everyone else.
- Given ongoing fire danger and dry conditions, never throw cigarettes or anything ignited out of vehicles, don’t park on grassy areas and ensure towing or other chains don’t drag on pavement causing sparks.
Highway construction paused
Most state highway construction work is suspended through the holiday weekend – including Monday, Sept. 6 – to ease congestion. However, please stay alert for new lane shifts or work zone staging areas that may remain in place. And please give any emergency repair crews plenty of space to work safely.
No lane closures or other construction is planned on Interstate 90 from Friday, Sept. 3, until Tuesday, Sept. 7. However, the usual holiday increase in traffic volumes means travelers should expect delays, especially eastbound on Friday, Sept 3, and westbound Monday, Sept. 6 (see charts for more detail). Receive text message alerts about significant delays by texting the number 468311 with the words "WSDOT Snoqualmie."
In the Puget Sound, weekend toll rates will be in effect on Monday, Sept. 6, on the State Route 520 bridge and SR 99 tunnel. The Interstate 405 express toll lanes will be free and open to all drivers on the Monday holiday.
People boarding a state ferry by vehicle should prepare for long waits. Peak travel times on most routes are expected to be westbound (or onto an island) Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 2-4, and eastbound (or off island), Sunday through Tuesday, Sept. 5-7. Customers also can bypass vehicle lines by traveling as a walk-on passenger.
- All riders should double check the sailing schedules as some routes are operating on timetables that are different than prior to the pandemic.
- Visit the Washington State Ferries website for more details on vehicle reservations, ferry email alerts and terminal conditions.
- A face covering is required in all indoor areas of vessels and terminals in compliance with the governor’s “Washington Ready” proclamation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s order for public transportation.
Trains, airports and transit
Travelers making a trip by train, personal aircraft or bus also should plan ahead to avoid holiday delays:
- 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 and Transportation Security Administration regulations require all passengers to wear masks. 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.htm or call 800-552-0666.
- Check with your local public transit agencies for any holiday schedule or service changes, including some Dial-A-Ride and fixed-route service that may not run during holidays.
- Written by Kevin Morris, Douglas County Sheriff
On April 19, 2020 at about 2:13 PM, Douglas County Deputies were dispatched to a report of human remains found by an individual picking asparagus.
The remains were located in the trees and brush on the hillside in the 2700 block of Tacoma Avenue, Bridgeport.
The scene was investigated and the remains were removed.
Although confirmation cannot be made as to the identity of the remains until further DNA testing, investigators believe this to be Roy L. Groeneveld. Mr. Groeneveld was reported missing from a nearby residence in 2010 and was never located.
- Written by Sergeant Jason Reinfeld, CCSO
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports on August 20th, 2021 at approximately 4:30 pm a 78 year old Peshastin man was located on the French Creek trail in the Icicle Drainage. The man was reported missing on Monday, August 16th after he didn’t return home from fishing on Sunday the 15th. Searchers worked all week attempting to locate the missing man.
On August 20th, a group of hikers located the man on the trail and flagged down a search team in the area who were returning to the SAR base. They were approximately 2-1/4 miles in from the trailhead. He was dehydrated but was still able to walk. It was determined on scene however, he would need to be littered out the remainder of the way.
After interviewing the man, searchers were able to determine he hiked in on Sunday morning and went up the French Ridge trail off of French Creek. At some point, he lost the trail and started working his way down off trail. He located the creek and was able to catch and eat some fish.
Throughout the week searchers from several different agencies helped in the search. Chelan County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Deputies, CCSO Swiftwater Rescue Deputies and Volunteers, Chelan County Volunteer SAR, Chelan County Mountain Rescue, as well as representatives from Kittitas County, Okanogan County, Spokane County, King County, Snohomish County, as well as spontaneous volunteers including family members all participated in the search. The hikers who located the man volunteered to assist with the litter carry-out.
- Written by Carol A. Kibler, Administrative Office Manager, CFR
Chelan Fire and Rescue
Wednesday, August 18, 2021 at 3:00 P.M.
232 East Wapato, Chelan, WA
The CFR Board of Commissioners will conduct the meeting in person at the fire station, you are welcome to join via Zoom. The public is welcome to join by following this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87284665516 Meeting ID: 872 8466 5516 or
dial +1 253 215 8782
Proposed Chelan Fire and Rescue agenda pending Board approval.
Regular Meeting Call to Order:
• Revenue and Expenditure Report: July 2021
• Payroll: June 22-July 26 Paid 08-05-2021 $185,214.54
• General Account Vouchers: Transactions #826 -834 for $6,407.28, #836-842 for $2,404.69, #857-885 for $18,108.58.
• Capital Account Vouchers: Transactions #855-856 & 961 for $4,735.18
• Minutes: July 28, 2021 and August 2, 2021
Fire Chief Report:
• 2021 Budget & Financial Report
• July Emergency Response Report / Operations / Community Risk Reduction / Apparatus Update
Assistant Chief Report:
• Volunteer Recruitment & Retention / Training
Firefighters Association Report:
• 2021 Levy Lid Lift
• New Chief Hiring Process
• City of Chelan Fire Protection Services Contract – Update
• Station 75 Short Plat – Update
• 2021 Operational Goals (August through December)
• Chelan Fire & Rescue Open House, October 2nd, 1000-1400, Station 71
• Washington Fire Commissioners Association Conference, October 20th 23rd, Tulalip Convention Center
Board for Volunteer Firefighters:
Executive Session: None
- Written by Barb Chamberlain, Active Transportation Division director, WSDOT
New bike route designations expand to southeast corner of the state
OLYMPIA – There’s exciting news for people who desire to travel long distance by bicycle – Washington state is expanding its U.S. Bicycle Route system (pdf 1.8mb) by more than 200 miles by designating four new routes in the southeast corner of the state.
U.S. bike routes direct bicyclists to a preferred route through a city, county or state, and provide options for riders to select among various route choices. These preferred routes tend to have lower vehicle traffic volumes and take advantage of scenic landscapes as well as connect riders to services, parks and points of interest. With the addition of these new route designations, Washington’s USBR system will expand to just over 1,000 miles throughout the state.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials approved the Washington State Department of Transportation’s latest application for the new USBR segments earlier this week.
The new routes are:
- USBR 20: 77.2 miles, starting at the city of Clarkston/Idaho state border along US 12 over the Columbia Plateau to the Columbia County line near the Lewis & Clark Trail State Park
- USBR 40: 1.9 miles from town of Tekoa to the Idaho border; a small step to the beginning of an ambitious route plan to span 400 miles across Washington to La Push
- USBR 81: 103.5 miles on state and county roads, from the northern border of Whitman County near the town of Tekoa to the city of Asotin, south of Clarkston
- USBR 281: 23 miles, starting in the city of Pullman, heading southeast along State Route 27 and US 195 to the Washington/Idaho border
“The U.S. Bicycle Routes are an example of how state highways can serve as critical connections in an overall network for bicycling, as well as support tourism, just as they do for people traveling by car,” said Barb Chamberlain, director of WSDOT’s Active Transportation Division. “Bike travelers stop in more places and spend more on average than those traveling in motor vehicles, so bike routes are especially good for the economy in our small and rural towns.”
The new routes are now eligible for national and global promotion and are authorized to use nationally recognized signage.
- Written by Robin Pittman
Regular Board Meeting
August 12, 2021, 4:10pm
Bumgarner Meeting Room, 142 Pedoi Street, Manson WA 98831
I. Call to Order
II. Agenda Additions and Deletions
III. Public Comment
IV. Approval of Minutes
a. July 8, 2021 Regular Meeting Minutes
V. Financial Review
a. Review Monthly Financial Report
b. Review and Approve Monthly Voucher
VI. Old Business
a. Marina compliance follow-up
b. Purchasing Policy (setting purchase limit)
c. Director’s Report
VII. New Business
a. Manson Marina RC Boat Racing Club
b. Youth soccer league
c. Old Mill Park improvements and future development
d. Maintenance position
e. Boat Club gate request
f. Blackwatch contract
g. Wapato Lake Campground map graphic design proposal
h. Marina breakwater float repair approval
Next Regular Meeting: September 9, 2021 at 4:10pm, 142 Pedoi Street, Manson, WA 98831, unless otherwise posted.
- Written by Karla A Mendoza, Administrative Assistant, CFR
On July 30, 2021 at 8:48 am, Chelan Fire and Rescue was dispatched to a brush fire at 16445 S. Lakeshore Rd.
The fire was reported to be 20 feet from a structure and on the uphill side of Lakeshore Rd.
First arriving units reported a ¼ acre brush fire that was moving upslope with zero wind. A 2nd alarm was called to provide more manpower.
Forest service and DNR resources also responded.
Fortunately, with no wind the crews were able to catch it within feet of being out of reach of the water stream.
The cause of the fire appears to be an accidental spark from an excavator track.
As this fire shows, in these conditions all it takes is a spark. Please be aware anytime you are near dry grass.
- Written by Carol A. Kibler, Administrative Office Manager, CFR
Chelan Fire and Rescue
Monday August 2nd, 2021 starting at 9:00a.m.
232 East Wapato, Chelan, WA
Chelan Fire and Rescue Board of Commissioners have called a special meeting for Monday, August 2nd,2021 at 0900 a.m. at the fire station located at 232 East Wapato Ave.
AGENDA: Open Meeting 0900
New Business: Resolution 2021-03: Amendment to Resolution 2021-02.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 820 2311 7156
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- Written by Sheriff Brian Burnett, CCSO
Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett today provided a summary of an incident over the weekend related to a stolen school bus vehicle and how law enforcement’s response was dictated by new Washington state police reform policies.
CHELAN COUNTY SHERIFF’S STATEMENT ON STOLEN SCHOOL BUS INCIDENT:
On Saturday July 24 at 1940 hrs. employees of Osprey Rafting witnessed a man wearing a yellow dress drive away in the company’s privately owned large yellow school bus from an area east of Leavenworth on SR 2 (milepost 102). Sheriff’s deputies responded and located the vehicle driving eastbound near milepost 111, and witnessed the vehicle running a red light near Monitor, WA. They tried to initiate a traffic stop but the bus did not stop. Washington’s new police reform laws no longer allow law enforcement to pursue a fleeing vehicle unless there is probable cause that a serious felony (see the 4 required elements below) has occurred so the deputies had to abandon the pursuit.
Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies followed the vehicle eastbound on SR28 after it traveled through the city limits of Wenatchee and across the Senator George Sellar Bridge. They also discontinued pursuit per the new reform laws.
On Saturday July 25 at 1853 hrs. Chelan County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Chewelah Police Department who indicated they believed they had the driver in custody. His identify was verified by Chelan County deputies and he was wearing the same yellow dress.
Thirty-nine-year-old Andrew S. Loudon allegedly stole a front-end loader and drove it through his home in Chewelah. The suspect’s wife had fled the home when she learned her estranged husband may be nearby.
Initial reports indicated that Mr. Loudon was released from Western State Hospital. Further into our investigation we have determined this information to be inaccurate and that Mr. Loudon was not at Western State Hospital, but at a privately run mental health hospital within Western Washington. Mr. Loudon was released Friday, July 23rd from the mental health hospital and transported by private vehicle to a local hotel next to a bus station where he would catch a bus to travel back home the following day. Mr. Loudon did board that bus bound for Eastern Washington and made the decision to disembark in Leavenworth, WA.
He is being held on charges of Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Malicious Mischief 1st degree/domestic violence and Attempting to Elude Police Vehicle.
Chronology of the events (times are approximate)
7-24-21 morning - Loudon is released from Western Hospital
7-24-21 1916 hrs - Loudon is seen walking east bound wearing a dress near milepost 102
7-24-21 1940 hrs - Loudon allegedly steals the bus
7-24-21 1948 hrs - Located the bus east bound on Hwy 2. Driver fails to stop.
7-24-21 1955 hrs – Chelan County deputies terminate pursuit after driver goes through a red light.
7-24-21 2010 hrs - Vehicle drives through Wenatchee
7-24-21 2018 hrs - Vehicle enters Douglas County.
7-24-21 2037 hrs - Douglas County attempts traffic stop. Driver fails to stop.
7-24-21 2047 hrs - Douglas County stops following the Bus
Unknown time – The bus is left near Moses Lake the suspect hitch hikes to Spokane and then Chewelah
7-25-21 – 1853 hrs – Suspect allegedly steals a large front-end loader and drives it through a house, flipping a
vehicle into the structure. Loudon is subsequently arrested and booked into jail.
How this incident highlights changes in police response:
The new law sets very strict guidelines for law enforcement that takes away our ability to pursue stolen vehicles. It states four elements are required for law enforcement to pursue a vehicle:
1. Probable Cause for a VIOLENT OFFENSE, SEX OFFENSE or ESCAPE (from custody or detention facility) or reasonable suspicion for DUI
2. Pursuit is necessary to identify or apprehend the person AND
3. The driver possess an imminent threat to the safety of OTHER S, AND the risk of failing to apprehend or identify the person is greater than the risks of vehicle pursuit AND
4. Supervisor has provided authorization.
If these four prongs are not all met, we as law enforcement cannot pursue vehicles in Washington State any longer.