Construction, wildfire danger concerns for Labor Day weekend travel

SNOQUALMIE PASS, Wash. – Know before you go!

That’s the message from the Washington State Department of Transportation, which said traffic is expected to double during the long weekend, and delayed construction projects could mean your travel times may be even longer than usual.

Time is running out for construction crews and some major work will still be underway during one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

“Some people are already back to school, some are going next week, so everybody’s trying to cram that last vacation in,” said WSDOT’s Brian White.

Normally about 25,000 cars travel across Snoqualmie Pass each day but the coming holiday weekend means traffic will likely be much heavier.

“Even if everything is perfect, it’s still going to take you longer,” said White.

WSDOT predicts congestion will be thick heading eastbound over the pass by Saturday – but traveling back on Labor Day could be even more daunting.

When you consider the multiple construction projects along I-90, even a minor fender bender could make your road trip even longer.

“Then you have someone break down or you have a wreck and then the whole system breaks down,” said White.

WSDOT said despite the great construction weather some contractors are behind schedule due to a recent strike by concrete delivery-truck drivers

Drivers will not only have to contend with congested construction zones but also the threat of wildfire.

Last week smoke from a brush fire near Ellensburg shut down the freeway. The smoke was so thick it caused a multicar crash that killed one person.

Since the wildfire danger for Washington is either in the high or extreme category, drivers are being urged to be careful when hitting the road.

WSDOT also warned drivers folks to resist using their cellphone’s navigation app to find a way around construction project.

Officials said the apps don’t always measure the true conditions of side roads or city streets – and countless other drivers might have the same idea, meaning you’re probably not going to be saving much time after all.