Memorial Day weekend travel requires planning ahead
- Written by Barbara LaBoe, WSDOT communications
Use WSDOT tools, allow extra time for holiday weekend traffic
OLYMPIA – With summer-like weather already here, travelers hitting the road this Memorial Day weekend should prepare for additional traffic – especially during peak travel times.
By following these steps, travelers can plan ahead for wherever they’re headed during the three-day weekend:
- Check the Washington State Department of Transportation's 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, please stay alert for new lane shifts or work zone staging areas that may remain in place.
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.
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.htm or 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
Renovating aircraft parking at Methow Valley State Airport
- Written by Christina Crea, WSDOT Aviation Communications
West tie down apron expansion starts May 28, requires no runway closures
WINTHROP – Pilots will have access to an updated tie down area after Methow Valley State Airport gets its long-awaited apron layout expansion. Work starts May 28 with plans for new spaces to open after approximately 30 days.
Visiting pilots will not encounter any delays or runway closures while using the airport during the construction. However, pilots should still regularly check Notices to Airmen.
This update will also expand this airport’s apron into compliance with Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) design standards. This expansion adds three additional parking positions designed for the critical design aircraft. There will be 54.49 foot spacing between tie down points and seven more parking positions for smaller aircraft with 34 foot spacing between tie down points. Some of the new tie downs will better accommodate aircraft with wingspans in the typical range of 30 – 38 feet.
The spacing of tie down points for smaller aircraft was one of the highlighted issues after the completion of last year’s $5 million pavement rehabilitation project at the airport. This project was originally intended to be included as part of last year’s pavement rehabilitation work, but due to availability and timing of federal funding, the apron expansion was be re-bid in Fall 2018 for construction this Spring/Summer 2019.
The contract was awarded to Wenatchee general contractor, Selland Construction, in the amount of $1.26 million.
Construction costs are split between the FAA Airport Improvement Program and Washington State Department of Transportation Aviation. The FAA is supporting 90 percent and WSDOT Aviation is supporting 10 percent of the total cost.
Drainage system improvements with this project include a new underdrain system along the perimeter of the expanded aircraft apron. The new underdrain system will flow into existing drainage structures, infiltration ponds, or adjacent infield areas.
The project was designed by Denver based engineering firm Jviation, who will also provide construction management services during the project
Methow Valley State Airport in Winthrop is the largest of 16 WSDOT-managed airports, serving commercial aircraft that weigh up to 30,000 pounds. The airport also supports Washington’s smoke jump base, medical evacuation flights, wildland firefighting staging and more.
Manson seniors meet with Representative Mike Steele
- Written by Janice Stewart
Washington State Legislator Mike Steele visited Manson High School on Monday May 6th to share information about the award his family sponsors each year, the Mel Steele Memorial Award.
Mel (Mike’s Uncle) was a standout athlete and student who was killed in a tragic football injury while he was a student at Manson High School.
Each year Representative Steele visits with seniors and shares the attributes his family admired in Mel and those that Manson Staff Members look for in one senior student who is awarded the medal and scholarship.
Manson seniors thanked Representative Steele for his work in the 2019 Legislative Session and in particular for his work in securing $400,000 in funds to assist in building an Early Childhood Center on Manson’s campus.
His leadership and advocacy in the Capital Budget process is very much appreciated by Manson students, staff and families.
Chelan Fire and Rescue Regular Meeting 5-15-19
- Written by Carol A. Kibler, Administrative Office Manager, Chelan Fire and Rescue
Chelan Fire and Rescue
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 3:00 P.M.
232 East Wapato, Chelan, WA
Proposed Chelan Fire and Rescue agenda pending Board approval.
Call to Order:
Revenue and Expenditure Report: April 2019
Payroll: $131,886.35 April 1-30, 2019 Paid: 05-05-2019
Vouchers for April 2019 General Account: Vouchers #18759 – 18776 for $12,730.93; Vouchers #18777 – 187892 for $32,340.56; Vouchers #18791 – 18800 for $7,269.11.
Vouchers for April 2019 Capital Account: None
Minutes: April 17, 2019
Fire Chief Report:
2019 Budget / Emergency Response Report / Facilities/Apparatus/Equipment
Deputy Chief Operations Report: Operations / Fire Prevention / Public Education / Career Staff
Assistant Chief of Volunteer Services: Volunteer Recruitment and Training / Volunteer Staff
Firefighters Association Report:
LRP Presentation to the Public
05-18-2019 WSFFA Banquet 6 p.m. – Volunteer Firefighter of the year award – Jonathan Mendoza
05-20-2019 WFC Conference – Kennewick / Chief Donnell and Chief Asher
05-23-2019 Memorial Day Parade
05-30-2019 CFR Town Hall Meeting – Chelan Senior Center 6-8
Board for Volunteer Firefighters
Commissioner Comments: No action to be taken.
Executive Session: None
Submerged vessel causes oil spill in Lake Chelan
- Written by Sergeant Kent Sisson, CCSO
Vessel prior to boom deployment
Vessel after boom deployment
(CHELAN) - Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a partially submerged vessel on Lake Chelan initiated a “spill response” due to leaking diesel fuel Tuesday afternoon (05/07/2019). Emergency management personnel from the Sheriff’s Office were notified by State Department of Ecology (DOE) just after 4:00pm concerning a 29ft sailboat which was approximately 60% submerged along the south shore of the lake just down lake of the 25 Mile Creek USFS dock.
A DOE Spill Response Team responded from Yakima while Chelan County Emergency Management personnel responded to assess the situation and begin boom deployment around the derelict vessel. By 9:30pm the vessel had been surrounded by boom and absorbent material to mitigate the diesel flow out into the lake.
An attempt to locate the owner of the vessel at several different locations in Chelan was unsuccessful Tuesday evening.
The investigation concerning what caused the large sailboat to sink is ongoing.
The boat will need to be removed from the lake which will require a contractor specializing in the removal of submerged vessels. The Dept. of Ecology and Sheriff’s Office are working collaboratively to make this happen as soon as possible. The spill is currently contained.
Manson Apple Blossom Festival 2019
- Written by Gregory Kennedy
For all the information on the 99th Manson Apple Blossom Festival go to https://moretomanson.com/events/manson-apple-blossom-festival-2019.
Headed mushroom picking? Know the weather forecast and have an escape route in mind
- Written by Sergeant Kent Sisson, CCSO
ENTIAT – Chelan County emergency management officials are reminding mushroom hunters headed into areas burned by the Cougar Creek Fire to be vigilant about keeping up to date on weather forecasts and having a pre-planned escape route in the event of seasonal rain showers.
The Cougar Creek Fire was one of the largest wildfires in the state last year, burning more than 42,700 acres in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The Entiat Ranger District is preparing for a busy mushroom season – and the hundreds of people it may attract.
The impact of rainfall over a recently burned area can be severe, warned Sgt. Kent Sisson of the Chelan County Department of Emergency Management. A burned surface may not absorb even light to normal rainfall, causing the precipitation to travel quickly, taking rocks, boulders, dirt and other debris with it and potentially overwhelming drainage systems, Sisson explained.
In fact, debris flows can move at up to 60 miles an hour on steep slopes, according to information from the National Weather Service.
“In Central Washington, we’re headed into thunderstorm season,” Sisson said. “While locals know there is no cell phone service in most of the Entiat Valley, visitors may not realize this. So we hope to help people understand that if a thunderstorm hits, or if it rains, there may be little warning of a debris flow event.”
Chelan County shares the following tips with not only mushroom hunters but also other people recreating in burned areas:
Watch for hazards in burns areas. Snags and damaged trees – blackened killed trees or green trees burned through at the bottom – can fall at any time. Or they can block trails or roads, including your exit if you should need to leave quickly during a rainstorm.
Before you head out for the day, look at the weather forecast. If you are in an area that does not have cell phone service, consider purchasing or bringing along an NOAA weather radio to keep up on weather events.
Have your escape plan in place prior to a weather event occurring. Maps are available for purchase at the Entiat Ranger District, 2108 Entiat Way. Be familiar with your surroundings.
Move to higher ground in the case of a rain event. Do not drive across flooded roads or washes or wade through flooded areas. Rapidly flowing water can easily sweep you off your feet.
Leave the area immediately in the case of a summer thunderstorm. If you see the tell-tale signs of a thunderstorm – rapidly rising cumulus clouds, a darkening sky, lightning in the distance and an increase in the wind – do not hesitate to get to a safe zone.
Always tell someone where you are going when headed into the forest and when to expect you back. Search crews will not be able to reach you if they don’t know you’re in the forest.
Lastly, Sisson stresses that a little preparation can go a long way in having a successful mushroom harvest this year.
“Checking the weather and being aware of your surroundings are things we should all be doing when we go into the forest,” Sisson said. “It is especially vital when recreating in these burned areas.”
Sheriff seeking information on structure fire
- Written by Detective Sgt. Bruce Long, CCSO
Sheriff Brian Burnett reports that Chelan County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a structure fire at 4045 Sunnybank Drive in Chelan, WA in the early morning hours on Saturday, May 4th.
All persons that were present in the home when the fire broke out were able to exit the home without injury.
The fire destroyed the structure, six vehicles and two pets were lost in the blaze.
The cause of this fire is currently under investigation.
Chelan County Sheriff’s Office detectives are looking for any information regarding individuals seen around the area prior, during and after the structure fire. If you have any information, please contact the detectives tip line at 509- 667-6845.
Manson Parks Regular Board Meeting 5-9-19
- Written by Robin Pittman
Regular Board Meeting
142 Pedoi Street, Bumgarner Building, May 9, 2019, 4:10pm
I. Call to Order
II. Flag Salute
III. Agenda Additions and Deletions
IV. Public Comment
V. Approval of Minutes
a. April 11, 2019 regular meeting minutes
VI. Financial Review
a. Review Monthly Financial Report
b. Review and Approve Monthly Voucher
VII. Old Business
a. Leffler Field
b. Director’s Report
VIII. New Business
a. Lanny Armbruster memorial
b. Campground Host wage
c. Yoga program
Next Regular Meeting: June 13, 2019 at 4:10pm, 142 Pedoi Street, Manson, WA 98831
Okanogan County transportation the focus of State Transportation Commission meetings, May 14 - 15
- Written by Reema Griffith, WSTC executive director
OLYMPIA – Transportation challenges and priorities for residents, businesses and visitors to Okanogan County and the Colville Reservation will be the focus of a two-day visit by the Washington State Transportation Commission to Okanogan County next week. Officials from Okanogan County and its cities, the Colville Tribe, transit providers and other community leaders will participate as part of the commission’s statewide public outreach effort.
During its two-day tour, the commission also will meet with local leaders in Twisp on Tuesday, May 14, and in Omak on Wednesday, May 15, to learn more about local needs and efforts to improve transportation and safety. The meeting in Twisp will start at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Building 9, TwispWorks, 502 S. Glover. The meeting in Omak will take place from 8:30 to 11:10 a.m. Wednesday at Omak City Hall, 2 North Ash St. The meetings are open to the public and persons wishing to speak to the commission may do so during the public comment period scheduled at the close of each meeting.
The meetings feature a series of short presentations on successes and challenges, future plans and needs for transportation in the Okanogan region. Topics include city streets, county and tribal roads, state highways, rail and air transportation, and public transportation. Commissioners will learn about the connections between economic development, tourism, and transportation in the Methow Valley, and cross-border traffic with Canada on US 97. Several presenters, including representatives of Okanogan County will talk about how recent wildfires, floods and landslides have exposed vulnerabilities in the state and local road system, and the decision to identify a primitive road network for disaster response and evacuation.
On May 14, the commission will tour bridges on State Route 153, sites on SR 20 near Loup Loup pass where landslides have recently occurred, a proposed wildlife crossing on US 97, and see causes of flooding problems on the main street in Tonasket.
On May 15, following the meeting in Omak, commissioners will meet with leaders of the Colville Tribe and tour the road system on the reservation.
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 that reflect the priorities of the people and local governments of the State of Washington. In meetings later this year, the commission will visit Bremerton, Federal Way, and Skamania County.
For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda, visit: www.wstc.wa.gov/