OLYMPIA – With most Central Puget Sound routes open, state road crews are reloading hundreds of trucks with deicer and preparing for another day working the region’s highways.
“We have all available trucks and crew members out, working day and night,” said Chris Christopher, Maintenance Director for Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). “In Western Washington alone, we have 250 trucks and 300 crew members working 12-hour shifts. But with temperatures still below freezing drivers may see ice on the roads for at least another day.”
“On Monday, significant snow fell and temperatures dropped just as the evening commute started,” Christopher said. “Then we had spinouts and collisions that blocked lanes and kept our crews from getting there.”
Along with cars, dozens of buses and commercial trucks, blocked lanes on Seattle’s major freeways Monday night.
“Forecasts call for warmer temperatures Thursday. That looks like the best day to travel,” Christopher said.
WSDOT advises drivers to stay home today if possible. People who must travel should allow extra time and prepare for icy roads. That means slow down, allow extra space between vehicles and keep the gas tank full.
WSDOT still expects increasing traffic for the Thanksgiving holiday. Those traveling early should be prepared for winter conditions throughout the state with compact snow and ice on Puget Sound highways and mountain passes. Crews are fighting snow and heavy winds in Eastern Washington, as well.
Drivers should be prepared, check travel and roadway conditions on WSDOT’s website and pack winter-weather supplies, including tire chains. For more winter driving tips, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter.
Know before you go
Get up-to-date traffic information from WSDOT’s website before driving.
Check statewide weather forecasts and road temperature updates
Use this color-coded map for at-a-glance, statewide traffic conditions.
Call 511, WSDOT’s information hotline for drivers, to get real-time traffic, incident and road-closure updates. TTY users call 800-833-6388.
On the road
Overhead and roadside electronic signs alert rush-hour commuters to emergencies and incidents ahead and provide point-to-point travel times on major Seattle-area routes,
Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) deliver the latest highway traffic and conditions updates when lights are flashing on roadside signs that display regional HAR AM frequencies.