I Wonder: When are the busiest times to drive for 4th of July?

I Wonder: When are the busiest times to drive for 4th of July?

Credit: KING

I Wonder: When are the busiest times to drive for 4th of July?

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by TRAVIS PITTMAN / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 1, 2010 at 10:13 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 21 at 11:32 AM

(Editor's note: The information is for July 4, 2010. If you are looking at this story after that date, disregard what you see.)

Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. It goes for many things, including holiday travel.

On Memorial Day, holiday drivers contributed to a 27-mile, three-hour backup on westbound Interstate 90 as they headed home over Snoqualmie Pass during peak hours.

In order to avoid a repeat for the Fourth of July Weekend, WSDOT has come up with a handy chart showing the peak travel times during the holiday weekend on I-90, I-5 south of Olympia through Lewis County, US 2 and I-5 at the Canadian Border, so you can plan your commute.

Our attached slide show has WSDOT charts of what drivers can expect in those areas.

Another hot spot is the ferry terminals. If you want to make sure you get where you want to go, make an advanced reservation. Some ferry runs are nearly booked even before the weekend begins. The Keystone-to-Port Townsend ferry run is already booked for all of Friday and there is very limited space on the Port Townsend-to-Keystone ferry.

Beyond those areas, expect travel in the Puget Sound region to increase Thursday and peak travel between noon and 9 p.m. Friday and early on Saturday. WSDOT says Monday travel back into the Puget Sound area will peak between about noon and into the late evening.

Drivers on I-5 in Seattle on Sunday, July 4 should expect heavy congestion and ramp closures on Interstate 5 prior to the fireworks show on Lake Union. At about 9 p.m., WSDOT will close the following:

  • The southbound I-5 off-ramp to Roanoke Street
  • The southbound I-5 on ramp from Boylston Street
  • The southbound I-5 exit-only lane and off-ramp to Mercer Street.

These ramps are closed to prevent people from stopping on the freeway to watch the fireworks. The ramps will reopen when the show is over.

For updates anytime on the commute, visit our traffic section. If you're not near a computer, you can call 5-1-1.

KING 5's Tracy Taylor contributed to this report.

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