State planners offer tools to ease holiday travel headaches

December 26, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 26, 2012

The state Department of Transportation delivered gifts to holiday travelers — tips to avoid travel-related headaches.

The agency offers numerous travel information tools for motorists headed out between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Travelers planning to hit state highways can find information on the Department of Transportation website about the times and places drivers can expect to experience holiday weekend delays, including U.S. 2, Interstate 90, and Interstate 5 at the Canadian border, and between Olympia and Tacoma.

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Snow causes few disruptions for Issaquah residents

December 25, 2012

Snow crept into forecasts in recent days, but aside from a dusting in higher-elevation neighborhoods and a delay for Issaquah School District students, winter weather did not cause significant disruptions in the area.

In response to slushy conditions on roads and some snowfall overnight, school district administrators delayed the start of school two hours Dec. 18. The day before, as forecasters issued a winter weather advisory for Western Washington, Issaquah and King County road crews prepared for snow.

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Issaquah, King County road crews start snow watch as mercury dips

December 17, 2012

NEW — 10 p.m. Dec. 17, 2012

Issaquah and King County road crews prepared for the possibility of snow late Monday, as forecasters issued a winter weather advisory for Western Washington.

Meteorologists said conditions exist for lowland snow showers overnight as temperatures drop into the low 30s and snow levels sink to only a few hundred feet above sea level. The chance of snow is expected to decrease Tuesday morning as temperatures increase into the upper 30s and low 40s.

National Weather Service meteorologists in Seattle said snow showers could occur overnight in Issaquah. Snow accumulation of less than 1 inch is possible. The chance of precipitation is 70 percent.

Snow is possible before 10 a.m. Tuesday, followed by a chance of rain between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The snow level is expected to reach 400 feet. Snow accumulation of less than a half inch is possible. The chance of precipitation is 60 percent.

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State awards more than $3.5 million for local bridge projects

November 29, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Nov. 29, 2012

The state Department of Transportation awarded more than $3.5 million to Issaquah and King County to replace aging bridges, officials announced Wednesday.

The projects — a plan to replace the Northwest Dogwood Street bridge in downtown Issaquah and a plan to redo a bridge across 15 Mile Creek at the base of Tiger Mountain — received a portion of $130 million in federal funds to repair or replace aging bridges.

Replacing the Northwest Dogwood Street bridge across Issaquah Creek is a long-held goal among city officials, but a lack of funding prevented the project from proceeding in the past. The city project is in line to receive $2,254,400 in federal funds.

Reconstruction is meant to help reduce flooding by creating more capacity for the creek beneath the replacement bridge. The project could also add safer access for pedestrians — a change from the narrow bridge in place now.

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Crews gird for snow removal before flakes start to fall

November 27, 2012

The mercury dips a little lower as November turns to December, winter starts in mere weeks, and the agencies responsible for ensuring roads remain passable in ice and snow readied removal plans for the months ahead.

Issaquah, King County and the state prepare detailed ice and snow response plans long before the flakes start to fall. The agencies face challenges in Issaquah and the surrounding area due to steep terrain, narrow roads and limited funding.

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Sammamish falls short in bid for state ferry name

November 27, 2012

The bid to name a ferry for Sammamish came up short, after state transportation officials selected other tribal names instead.

Washington Transportation Commission members selected Samish and Tokitae for the 144-car Olympic class ferries. The commission also considered Cowlitz, Hoquiam, Muckleshoot and Ivar Haglund as possible names.

The commission announced the name selection Nov. 13.

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State serves Thanksgiving travel tips to motorists

November 20, 2012

Before the feast, Thanksgiving launches the holiday travel season.

The state Department of Transportation is offering numerous travel information tools for motorists headed out during the holiday weekend.

Thanksgiving weekend typically ranks among the busiest periods all year for Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass.

In the Puget Sound area, Interstate 5 and I-90 express lanes operate on a weekend schedule Nov. 22, Thanksgiving.

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King County Metro Transit buses carry safety reminder for drivers

November 20, 2012

King County Metro Transit joined the state Department of Transportation, King County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol and other organizations Nov. 1 to remind motorists to move over or slow down in emergency zones.

Through the public safety campaign, buses bear posters to remind drivers to “Move Over or Slow Down,” because state law requires motorists to yield or move — or else. Under state law, motorists face a $248 fine for exceeding the speed limit in the 200 feet before and after a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights or siren engaged.

“The importance of drivers being attentive while approaching and traveling through emergency zones cannot be overstated,” Capt. Chris Gundermann, Washington State Patrol district commander, said in a statement.

Ongoing rainfall to dampen holiday, but worst is done

November 20, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 20, 2012

Expect continued rainfall through Thanksgiving, but not like the blustery, soggy conditions Monday.

Severe rainfall from a series of storms derailed the afternoon commute and raised flooding concerns on local waterways as more than 2 inches of rain soaked the Issaquah area. The storm caused power outages in Issaquah and Sammamish, and prompted Sammamish city officials to close Beaver Lake Preserve and Pine Lake Park due to high wind.

King County road crews spent Monday afternoon removing leaves and debris from storm drains and responding to problems. The state Department of Transportation warned motorists to prepare for waterlogged Thanksgiving travel and snow on the mountain passes.

National Weather Service meteorologists in Seattle forecast rain for Issaquah into next week, although not as bad as the Monday deluge.

The precipitation raises the prospect of localized flooding on city streets.

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State serves Thanksgiving travel advice to motorists

November 19, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 19, 2012

Before the feast, Thanksgiving launches the holiday travel season.

The state Department of Transportation is offering numerous travel information tools for motorists headed out during the holiday weekend.

Travelers planning to hit state highways can find information on the Department of Transportation website about the times and places drivers can expect to experience Thanksgiving weekend delays, including U.S. 2, Interstate 90, and Interstate 5 at the Canadian border, and between Olympia and Tacoma.

Thanksgiving weekend is typically ranks among busiest period all year for I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass and U.S. 2 over Stevens Pass.

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