Construction projects on state highways, plus the usual holiday crowds, could make it slow going this weekend.
If you’re planning to travel just about anywhere on this Memorial Day weekend, don’t expect to get there quickly. Construction projects are putting the squeeze on various Washington state highways.
East of Seattle
Eastbound delays of up to an hour were expected Friday afternoon on the Interstate 90 Columbia River Bridge in Vantage, where one of the two lanes remains blocked long-term while the steel-arch bridge is being repainted.
That compounds the traditional delays through Snoqualmie Pass, where expansion is finished near Hyak but the road lanes remain narrow and without shoulders at the east end of Lake Keechelus.
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Traffic heading east across Snoqualmie Pass was expected to be congested not just Friday, but from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, state transportation officials were predicting. Driving west on Monday, drivers can expect the usual slowdowns at Cle Elum from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. or later.
On Monday, Highway 520 bridge tolls will be on a weekend rate that peaks at $2.40 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Good to Go pass holders, compared with a weekday rate of $3.90 in morning and afternoon commute peaks. Cars without passes are charged an extra $1.60 to $1.65 and are billed by mail.
North of Seattle
The “SnoCo Squeeze,” which refers to I-5 lane closures in Marysville as crews replace expansion joints, is taking a rest this holiday weekend.
All three northbound lanes are open, as is the merge-exit lane between Highway 529 and Marysville, so the abrupt merges and delays that happened in early May aren’t expected.
That said, lanes remain narrower than standard and have a 45 mph speed limit, said Lisa Van Cise, spokeswoman for the Washington State Department of Transportation.
On the water
More than 435,000 travelers are expected to board ferries. Ridership has grown 2.7 percent in the past year. Wait times of an hour or two are commonplace on holiday weekends.
Washington State Ferries director Lynne Griffith is encouraging people to walk aboard rather than drive, or to make vehicle reservations for sailings to the San Juan Islands, Sidney, B.C., and the Port Townsend-Coupeville route.
In the city
Seattle Mariners fans are encouraged to ride transit, including the University Link light-rail extension, to reach this weekend’s three ballgames against the Minnesota Twins. Sounder commuter trains will provide special trips to the Sunday game, which begins at 1:10 p.m.
Traffic also may be heavy around Seattle Center, site of the four-day Northwest Folklife Festival. Seattle Center’s website has information on transportation options.