Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Advise from the Washington State DOT

Pack chains and supplies to be ready for increased Thanksgiving travel on most major routes

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Washington I-5 Traffic | Washington I-5 Construction | I-5 Exit Guide

Travelers headed over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday will want to plan now for winter weather. They also should expect delays on most major routes like I-5, I-90, and US 2 both between Lacey and Tacoma and from Bellingham to the Canadian border.

In addition to gratitude lists and pumpkin pie, the Washington State Department of Transportation encourages all travelers to pack their patience and “know before you go” by consulting the agency’s popular holiday travel charts to determine best times to travel, including times to avoid if possible.

Most construction will be paused over the four-day weekend to help reduce congestion, but this is a popular travel weekend and WSDOT recommends people travel early or late, if possible, and give themselves plenty of extra time. Crashes or emergency road repairs also can add to travel times. 

Crews are ready for winter. Are you?

WSDOT crews are prepped for winter weather – including pre-treating and plowing to keep everyone moving. Travelers can help by being prepared for winter weather driving conditions, slowing down on snow and ice, putting the phone down and never driving impaired.

Weather conditions over mountain passes can change rapidly so it’s important for travelers to plan ahead. It’s often drivers who travel too fast, without traction tires or chains or under the influence that close a mountain pass for everyone. Practice installing chains before heading out the door – and not for the first time along the side of highway during a winter storm.

No construction is planned on I-90 Thursday and Friday, November 23-24. However, the usual holiday increase in traffic volumes means travelers should expect delays, especially eastbound on Wednesday and Thursday and westbound on Friday and Saturday.

In the Puget Sound region, weekend toll rates will be in effect Thursday, November 23, on the State Route 520 bridge and SR 99 tunnel. The I-405 express toll lanes will be free and open to all drivers on Thanksgiving.


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