Use travel tools to make holiday trips less laborious

August 30, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 8 a.m. Aug. 30, 2012

Labor Day means more traffic on state highways as motorists hit the road to celebrate the last holiday weekend of summer.

In order to ease congestion, the state Department of Transportation and contractors plan to suspend most construction work for the weekend. Crews move off most roads from noon Friday through Sept. 3.

“It’s a popular weekend to travel; traffic is pretty much going to be busy any time you head out the door, but I find knowing what to expect in advance and/or where to find the traffic info makes traveling much easier,” Mark Finch, Statewide Travel Data Analysis Office manager, said in a statement.

So, the agency also offers tools to help motorists make the journey a little less hectic.

Motorists can start at the Department of Transportation website, www.wsdot.wa.gov, to find traffic cameras, travel alerts, estimated travel times on Interstate 90 and other popular routes, ferry schedules and more.

Smartphone-equipped travelers can download traffic apps for the iPhone, iPad and Android available for free.

State transportation planners offer many ways for motorists to monitor travel conditions:

  • Dial 511, the driver information phone line to provide current traffic, incident and closure information. TTY users can call 800-833-6388 toll free and out-of-state callers can access the information at 800-695-7623 toll free.
  • Motorists can see information, such as camera images and maps, showing highway incidents and closures, on the travel website, www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic.
  • The agency also provides traveler information on TwitterFacebook and for mobile devices. Motorists can also sign up for specialized email alerts.
  • On the road, the agency provides real-time traffic updates on overhead and roadside electronic signs and on Highway Advisory Radio on AM channels 530 and 1610.

Motorists should expect construction-related delays on I-90 between Cle Elum and Easton and between Hyak and Keechelus Dam. Though two lanes remain open in both directions, construction is still occurring next to the highway.

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