Use WSDOT tools, allow extra travel time during popular travel weekend
OLYMPIA – With Memorial Day just around the corner, now’s the time to make a travel plan for this traditionally busy travel weekend.
For those who are traveling, consulting the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Memorial Day weekend traffic volume charts can help determine best times to travel on key routes, including times to avoid if possible. The Interstate 5 Canadian border forecast is not included in these charts because testing/vaccination requirements and the length of time the border has been open doesn’t allow for reliable forecasts at this point. 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, ferry schedules and a real-time travel map.
- Follow WSDOT on social media, such as several Twitter accounts 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.
- Have a backup outdoor destination as parks and other outdoor recreation sites tend to fill up quickly on holiday weekends. If a site’s parking is full, never park along road shoulders, as this is unsafe for everyone on the roadway.
- Allow extra time for travel to avoid rushing or distraction.
Highway construction paused
Most state highway construction work is suspended through the holiday weekend – including Monday, May 30 – 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 I-90 from Friday, May 27, until to Tuesday, May 31. However, the usual holiday increase in traffic volumes means travelers should expect delays, especially eastbound on Friday, May 28, and westbound Monday, May 30 (see charts for more detail). Text message alerts about significant delays are available by texting the words “WSDOT Snoqualmie” to 468311.
Chinook and Cayuse passes
State Route123/Cayuse Pass is scheduled to reopen by 8 a.m. Friday, May 27, in time for Memorial Day weekend. Relentless winter weather with continued snowfall and high avalanche danger will keep State Route 410/Chinook Pass closed until it is safe to reopen. Travelers can check the Chinook Pass and Cayuse Pass online reports for updates. 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 30, on the SR 520 bridge and SR 99 tunnel. The I-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 payment options on the Good to Go! visitors page.
People boarding a state ferry by vehicle should prepare for long waits. Peak travel times on most routes are expected to be westbound Thursday and Friday, May 26-27, and eastbound, Sunday and Monday, May 29-30. 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, checking terminal conditions and COVID-19 travel updates.
- The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends wearing face masks on indoor transit, but they are no longer required.
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. The federal CDC still recommends wearing face masks on indoor transit, but they are no longer required. Visit amtrakcascades.com or call 800–USA–RAIL for details.
- For information about traveling via state-operated airports, visit wsdot.wa.gov/travel/aviation/airports-list 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.
Information provided by Washington State Department of Transportation.