Traveling in-state for Thanksgiving weekend? Your destination is likely set, but if you can be flexible about when you make the trip, you might save yourself a headache.
The state Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has posted some helpful information online, including color-coded, hour-by hour looks at what to expect on some of the state’s most heavily traveled sections of highway, such as Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass and Interstate 5 between Tacoma and Olympia.
For example, eastbound drivers crossing Snoqualmie Pass between 2 and 4 p.m. Wednesday can expect congestion or stop-and-go traffic. But before 9 a.m. or after 8 p.m. Wednesday, only light traffic is expected.
Severe congestion is not expected either direction across the pass on Thanksgiving Day.
Returning from Eastern Washington on I-90 over the pass, traffic is likely to be at its worst between 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Make your return drive Saturday evening or Sunday morning and you’ll find far fewer drivers sharing the road.
On the ferries, the longest lines are expected westbound Wednesday afternoon and evening and eastbound Friday morning. Some routes will be on a holiday schedule Thursday. Check online or call toll-free 1-888-808-7977.
According to AAA Travel, some 900,000 Washington residents will travel at least 50 miles by road to their Thanksgiving weekend destinations, and Port of Seattle officials say 600,000 travelers are expected to pass through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.