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Be in the know before you go: Travel tools available for Labor Day weekend

  • Written by Washington State Department of Transportation

OLYMPIA – Dust off those study skills before school starts and use them to check the Washington State Department of Transportation’s predicted travel volumes on the state’s major travel routes.

To help drivers navigate holiday traffic, WSDOT gathers data to provide the best times to travel on Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass, US 2 over Stevens Pass, Interstate 5 through Thurston and Pierce counties and I-5 between Bellingham and the U.S./Canada border.

Real-time travel information is also available, with:

• Online tools that provide traffic camera images, ferry schedules and a map of highway incidents and closures

• 511 travel information hotline. For out-of-state callers, it’s 1-800-695-ROAD (7623)

• WSDOT mobile app, email alerts and other tools, such as Twitter and Facebook

• Overhead and roadside electronic signs

• Highway advisory radio stations: 530 AM or 1610 AM

To help ease traffic congestion, WSDOT and its contractors will suspend most state highway construction work at noon Friday, Aug. 30, through Monday, Sept. 2.

Travelers whose weekend plans include a trip by ferry, train, personal aircraft or bus should also make plans to avoid holiday delays:

• Washington State Ferries asks that travelers allow for extra time during the Labor Day holiday weekend. The heaviest backups and overloads are anticipated from 3 to 7 p.m.  Friday, Aug. 30, on westbound routes. Return traffic is anticipated to be heaviest on Sunday and Monday, Sept. 1 and 2, on eastbound routes. Travelers on the Port Townsend/Coupeville route and the Anacortes/Sidney, B.C., route are advised to make reservations. Waits and advance arrival recommendations vary by route. Travelers needing specific information can call the Washington State Ferries Information line at 1-888-808-7977 or check the website at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries.

• Amtrak Cascades offers 18 stops along the I-5 corridor. Amtrak Cascades trains often sell out during holidays so make your reservations early. Plan to arrive one hour before the train’s scheduled departure. Check online or call 1-800-USA-RAIL for more information.

• WSDOT provides updates on state-operated airports. Call 1-800-552-0666 for information.

• Most public transit systems will follow a holiday schedule, and some transit systems will not operate fixed-route or Dial-a-Ride service on Labor Day.

For additional information:

• Holiday travel volumes: 

• Online tools: www.wsdot.com/traffic/

• Mobile app: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Inform/mobile.htm

• Travel info: www.wsdot.wa.gov/inform

• WSDOT Twitter: twitter.com/wsdot

• Washington State Ferries: www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/

• Amtrak Cascades: www.amtrakcascades.com/

• Airport information: www.wsdot.wa.gov/aviation/airports/Amenities.htm

• Public transportation information: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Choices/bus.htm

Real time traffic information is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic or by dialing 511. 

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