If only it were as easy as over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house. But no, Thanksgiving, one of the most-traveled holidays of the year, creates special challenges for people on the Interstate 5 corridor.
The State Department of Transportation has analyzed holiday traffic patterns and offers these tips.
INTERSTATE 5: TACOMA TO OLMPIA
You’ll have to go early or late to avoid horrible traffic in this stretch through the holiday weekend. Here’s what to expect:
Wednesday, northbound: Normal (heavy to congested) traffic, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
Wednesday, southbound: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., congestion or stop-and-go traffic.
Thursday, northbound: Stop-and-go, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Thursday, southbound: Stop-and-go, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Friday, both directions: Heavy or stop-and-go traffic, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Saturday, southbound: Stop-and-go, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sunday, northbound: A normally congested period, but heavier than usual (stop-and-go) from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday, southbound: Heavier than usual during daylight hours; stop-and-go, noon-5 p.m.
INTERSTATE 5: BELLINGHAM TO CANADIAN BORDER
Expect moderate to heavy traffic during daylight hours Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Stop-go-traffic is expected northbound in the 4 o’clock hour Saturday afternoon and 3-6 p.m. Sunday. Southbound, the heaviest traffic is expected 9-10 a.m. Saturday.
INTERSTATE 90, NORTH BEND TO CLE ELUM.
Expect higher-than-normal traffic midday through the period. The most congestion is expected:
Wednesday, eastbound: 3-4 p.m.
Sunday, eastbound: noon-3 p.m.
Sunday, westbound: 3-5 p.m.
U.S. 2 FROM STEVENS PASS TO LEAVENWORTH
Higher-than-usual traffic through the period.
On a slightly better note, no snow is expected in Western Washington for the holiday weekend.