Though the weather is expected to be less than optimal, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is anticipating heavy Memorial Day weekend travel on popular holiday routes and advising travelers to make plans to avoid delays.
Vehicle traffic is expected to increase on Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass and on Interstate 5 through Thurston and Pierce counties and between Bellingham and the U.S.-Canada border, according to the WSDOT.
State highways, especially Highway 2 over Stevens Pass and eastward will likely see heavy traffic, too. WSDOT and its contractors will suspend most highway construction work this weekend to ease traffic congestion.
In Seattle, Mercer Corridor Project crews will also suspend work over the holiday weekend. Over the weekend, Mercer Street will remain eastbound-only between Fifth Avenue North and Ninth Avenue North, with two lanes open to traffic. Roy Street will be reduced to one westbound lane between Queen Anne Avenue North and Fifth Avenue North.
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Drivers should expect congestion this weekend around Seattle Center, where an estimated 25,000 people per day will be attending the Northwest Folklife Festival.
Weekend toll rates will apply Monday on the 520 Bridge because of the holiday, WSDOT said.
Chinook Pass on Highway 410, which provides the east entrance to Mount Rainier National Park, will reopen at noon Friday. The pass will reopen on the east side of Morse Creek, five miles east of the summit, and on the west side of the intersection of 410 and Highway 123, WSDOT said. Drivers on Highway 410 should prepare for minor delays, because WSDOT will shift traffic away from a damaged barrier east of the summit and restrict traffic to one lane through a 150-foot section.
Washington State Ferries and Amtrak Cascades trains expect an increased number of riders this weekend. Ferry passengers are encouraged to travel outside of peak times, and Amtrak is advising riders to make reservations early, as trains often sell out during holidays.
This weekend will bring typical Seattle weather; National Weather Service meteorologist Johnny Burg said. The forecast is for cloudy skies with temperatures in the 60s and 70s. There’s a chance of rain on Saturday and Monday, but also a slight possibility of sunshine on Monday.
Paige Cornwell: 206-464-2530 or firstname.lastname@example.org