Traveling During Labor Day Weekend? Plan Ahead, Allow Extra Travel Time

Use Washington State DOT tools to help prepare for holiday weekend traffic

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

With summer drawing to a close, travelers during the Labor Day weekend should plan ahead for extra congestion, including allowing extra time and traveling during non-peak times if possible.

Checking the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Labor Day weekend traffic volume charts when planning trips can help determine best times to travel on key routes. There will not be travel charts for the I-5 US-Canadian border crossing this year because the border has not been reopened long enough to provide for good analysis. Travelers should also check ahead for any COVID-19 safety requirements at their destinations or stops along the way.

By following these steps, travelers can “know before they go” and plan ahead, whether they’re just traveling across town or across the state:

  • Get informed about WSDOT’s online tools, including the WSDOT mobile app, traffic cameras and email alerts.
  • Visit online traveler information for traffic, weather and ferry schedules.
  • Follow WSDOT’s social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Pre-program the vehicle radio to 530 AM and 1610 AM for highway advisory radio alerts.
  • Call 5-1-1 for updated road conditions.
  • Have a backup outdoor plan if the first choice of an outdoor location is full and never park along road shoulders, as this is unsafe for everyone on the roadway.
  • Carry extra food and water as well as extra masks and hand sanitizer as an added precaution for emergencies or unexpected stops.
  • Keep vehicles at least a quarter full of fuel throughout travel. The state Department of Commerce says with many people still driving rather than flying, there could be local delays in fuel deliveries during heavy travel weekends. Downloading an app that identifies nearby gas stations may be helpful if traveling in a different part of the state, as will buying only the fuel needed and leaving enough for everyone else.
  • Given ongoing fire danger and dry conditions, never throw cigarettes or anything ignited out of vehicles, don’t park on grassy areas and ensure towing or other chains don’t drag on pavement causing sparks.

Highway Construction Paused

Most state highway construction work is suspended through the holiday weekend – including Monday, Sept. 6 – to ease congestion. However, please stay alert for new lane shifts or work zone staging areas that may remain in place. And please give any emergency repair crews plenty of space to work safely.


On the road? Why not take us with you. All our websites are mobile-friendly. Visit our growing family of exit guides:  I-4 Exit GuideI-5 Exit GuideI-10 Exit GuideI-75 Exit Guide, and I-95 Exit Guide. Detailed exit service listings… discount lodging, camping, food, gas and more for every exit along the way!

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