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Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

May 23, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Get ready for Memorial Day travel crush

Get ready for a crowd  on the roads over Memorial Day weekend. (Scott Olson, Getty Images photo.)

Get ready for a crowd on the roads over Memorial Day weekend. (Scott Olson, Getty Images photo.)

You will have lots of company if you’re driving somewhere this Memorial Day weekend, in Washington and beyond. And thanks to the bridge collapse on Interstate-5 at Mount Vernon on Thursday, travel from the Seattle area to the San Juan Islands or Vancouver, B.C., just got much more complicated.

Almost 35 million Americans will be traveling this holiday weekend, forecasts AAA, and 31.2 million of them will  be driving.  That’s similar to last year’s holiday-travel numbers although more people are driving ­– almost 9 out of 10 holiday travelers, said AAA Washington.

If you’re on the road, there are a couple of particular trouble spots in the state in addition to the usual heavy congestion along I-5 from Everett to Olympia; on I-90 (over Snoqualmie Pass); at ferry terminals and at border crossings into Canada.  Things to beware:

– On US 2 west of Stevens Pass, only one lane will be open in each direction while crews work to stabilize slopes, says the Washington State Department of Transportation.

– On US 97 south of Toppenish, a pilot car will escort traffic over the Satus Creek Bridge. Drivers can expect around-the-clock delays of up to 20 minutes, says the DOT.

– In the Seattle area, beware of traffic for Seattle Mariners’ games, May 24–26, and the Northwest Folklife Festival at Seattle Center, May 24–27.

To stay on top of traffic congestion for the Memorial Day weekend, phone the 511 travel information hotline; see the WSDOT webpage which has regular updates and maps; or download its mobile app.

At least road-trippers get a bit of a break on gas costs.  In Washington state, gas prices are averaging $4.01 per gallon for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline, up 33 cents during the past month, but still 23 cents lower than last Memorial Day, said AAA.

0 Comments | Topics: Memorial Day travel, Memorial Day Weekend

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