WSDOT: Plan ahead for hassle-free Christmas travel

  • Tuesday, December 20, 2016 7:01am
  • News

Washington State Department of Transportation - Contributed art

The following is a release from the Washington State Department of Transportation:

What’s the best present travelers can give to themselves and their families this holiday? Planning ahead to ensure safe, smooth travel whether going across town or across the state.

By following these steps, drivers can be celebrating with family and friends, instead of sitting on a freeway:

· Check the Washington State Department of Transportation’s best times to travel charts. Three-day Christmas weekends are rare, but WSDOT analysts have used their best historical data to predict holiday travel times.

· Get informed about WSDOT’s online tools, including mobile apps, 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.

· Carry chains and other winter driving essentials. Check current chain and traction requirements on the WSDOT passes website, highway advisory signs or by calling 5-1-1.

· Leave extra time for holiday and winter travel and drive safe.

Most state highway construction work is suspended through the holiday weekend – including Monday, Dec. 26 – to ease congestion.

In the mountains, the North Cascades Highway (State Route 20), Chinook (State Route 410) and Cayuse (junction of State Routes 123 and 410) passes have closed for the winter. On Interstate 90 Snoqualmie Pass (elevation 3,022), motorists can now receive texts about any major delays by texting the words “wsdot snoqualmie” to the number 468311.

In the Puget Sound, weekend toll rates will be in effect on Monday, Dec. 26, on the State Route 520 bridge and the Interstate 405 express toll lanes will be free and open to all drivers on that day as well.

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. The longest lines are expected westbound Friday, Dec. 23, and Saturday, Dec. 24, and eastbound Monday, Dec. 26. Check the Washington State Ferries website, www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/, or call toll-free 888-808-7977 for details. Customers can bypass vehicle lines by traveling as a walk-on passenger, if that is an option.

· 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 your local public transit agency for any holiday schedule or service changes, including some Dial-A-Ride and fixed-route service that may not run on holidays


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Sightseers at a Snoqualmie Falls viewpoint adjacent to the Salish Lodge & Spa on Feb. 19, 2020. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
25 COVID cases linked to Salish Lodge

Pubic Health is urging anyone who visited the lodge to monitor for symptoms or get tested.

The nose of the 500th 787 Dreamliner at the assembly plant in Everett on Sept. 21, 2016. (Kevin Clark / Herald, file)
Report: Boeing will end 787 Dreamliner production in Everett

Boeing declined comment on a Wall Street Journal story saying the passenger jet’s assembly will move to South Carolina.

Car hits hydrant and power pole in Bothell

Luckily there were no injuries

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Surge in consumer spending eases state budget challenges

A jump in tax collections cuts a projected $9 billion shortfall in half, acccording to new forecast.

Rendering of the completed boathouse. Courtesy photo/City of Kenmore
Kenmore project will bring public rowing to Rhododendron Park

The project will create a boathouse for both public and school district use

High speed rail and hub cities explored in Cascadia Corridor study

A new paper outlines a potential plan for the region.

Should state cover school bus costs if there are no riders?

With funding tied to getting students to school, districts are uncertain how much money they’ll receive.

King County moves to Stage 2 burn ban

Outdoor fires, even barbecues or in fire pits, are now prohibited.

Image courtesy of the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
Massive wildfires incinerate WA

All state Department of Natural Resources lands were closed to recreational activities on Sept. 8.

Screenshot of the air quality monitor at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8. Courtesy Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
King County faces unhealthy air quality due to wildfire smoke

Weather monitors recommend people limit time outdoors, especially children, seniors and those with heart or lung disease.

Amazon adds more office space to Bellevue, now as many new jobs as HQ2

The office space for an additional 10,000 jobs, making it 25,000 coming to downtown, is expected to complete in 2023.

Constantine announces King County climate action plan

Plots an example of decreased stormwater pollution, urban flooding prevention, immigrant connections