WSDOT will curb road construction to keep traffic moving over Memorial weekend

Using the Washington State Department of Transportation predicted travel volumes and online tools is the key to starting roadway travel for Memorial Day 2014.

With summer

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Single lane closures to cause delays on I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass

In preparation for major width and lane restrictions starting April 12, contractor crews will reduce Interstate 90 east of Snoqualmie Pass to a single lane in each direction 24 hours a day

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Time to trade those sunglasses and sandals for ice scrapers and chains

OLYMPIA – As state highway crews shift into winter gear, they have a few words of advice for drivers: be prepared and slow down.

Those simple words of wisdom could be the difference between a long wait on the highway or more time for family and fun.

“The last thing we want to do is see a car in the ditch,” said Mike Krahenbuhl, maintenance supervisor on Interstate 90 at Hyak. “That usually means the driver was going too fast or had to avoid someone else going too fast.”

Krahenbuhl has spent more than 40 years clearing snow and ice from Washington’s roadways. He said it takes just one person driving too fast or forgetting to prepare their vehicle for cold weather to cause a chain-reaction collision.

And it’s not just in the mountains, said Monty Mills, snow and ice program manager for the Washington State Department of Transportation.

“Prepare your car and prepare yourself for the conditions you will be driving into,” said Mills. “When the temperature drops, drivers all over the state need to be ready. We’re working to keep the highways open but need drivers’ help.”

WSDOT Works to Preserve 100 Year Old Bridge

WSDOT continues to aggressively pursue additional federal stimulus dollars that will be distributed nationwide, applying for high speed passenger rail funds, fish passage grants, and discretionary grants for surface transportation improvements. WSDOT and local governments continue to construct American Recovery and Reinvestment Act highway projects, and have completed 38 projects. This week’s project highlight describes how stimulus funds are helping preserve a 100-year-old bridge in Wenatchee.

As summer vacation ends, long-term lane closures on I-90 begin

EASTON, Wash. - Just when you thought construction was winding down for the season, crews are getting ready to kick it into high gear on I-90 after Labor Day. As part of an $18.4 million Recovery Act-funded project, WSDOT and contractor crews will replace several miles of deteriorating concrete panels in the right lane of westbound I-90, between Easton and Bullfrog Road (www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/i90/lkeastontobullfrogwb), about 20 miles east of Snoqualmie Summit.
 
WSDOT waited until heavy summer travel volumes subsided to help reduce delays and congestion for travelers on this critical cross-state route. The work and lane closures are still expected to add an up to an hour to drivers’ commute times across the pass.

Spent Labor Day weekend home? You weren’t the only one

OLYMPIA, Wash. - It could have been the rain, wind, economy or school calendar. Whatever the reason, the result was clear. There were fewer vehicles on the road in most places for Labor Day 2009.

WSDOT collects and provides data on its Web site on routes that typically see an increase in travel over holiday weekends to help drivers have the information they need to know before they go on holiday trips.

On I-90 across Snoqualmie Pass, WSDOT counted nearly 187,000 vehicles during the Labor Day weekend, a 9 percent decrease from Labor Day 2008.

Most areas in Washington showed a similar decrease, with traffic on US 2 over Stevens Pass even lower, with 29,900 vehicles on US 2 over Stevens Pass from Friday through Monday. That’s down 6,500 vehicles (or 22 percent) from 2008.

Traffic on I-5 near the U.S./Canadian border showed a small increase from 2008. WSDOT counted 129,700 vehicles on this stretch of highway from Friday through Monday, an increase of 3,400 vehicles (or 3 percent) from Labor Day weekend 2008.

WSDOT Stimulus News of the Week

Four more state highway projects are now substantially complete as contractor crews continue to complete American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funded construction projects. Washington is preparing for the intense national competition for $8 billion in high speed passenger rail grants with 21 project applications under way to meet the August 24 deadline. WSDOT’s stimulus web page has received national attention for its content and has attracted more than 58,000 visitors since its launch in February.

House on Track to Pass Public Lands Package — Includes Cantwell Measures

Today, the House of Representatives is on track to pass the Public Lands Package; it will then be sent to President Obama who has indicated he will sign it into law.  The package includes many provisions secured by Sen. Cantwell that will benefit WA state.