East-west travel miserable this summer

KING 5's Eric Wilkinson reports on the 23-mile paving project that's causing delays and single-lane travel.

Road projects across Washington's two major mountain passes are making travel to and from eastern Washington much more difficult than usual.

Christy Cox and her family left Port Angeles early this Thursday for a family trip to Leavenworth, hoping to get a jump on the weekend traffic.

More than four hours later, and with four kids in tow, they weren't even close.

"I've already threatened to turn around," she said. "I'd rather go home than listen to them fight while we're stuck in traffic."

Drivers going across the mountains will be stuck for quite a while this summer.

A 23-mile paving project between Gold Bar and Skykomish along Highway 2 is causing delays of at least 90 minutes in both directions.

Traffic is down to a single lane, meaning cars have to stop in one direction so those traveling in the other direction can go through.

"You've got fall, winter and construction season," said traveler Henry Lefebvre. "That's just what it is."

Adding to the frustration: the construction is in three sections, so once you think you've gotten through it, you get stuck again...and again. 

"We've got some snacks going on," said Lefebre's wife Carla. "We've got people in the back taking a snooze."

WSDOT is working Monday through Thursday to avoid making the already rough Friday summertime commute across Stevens Pass even worse. They'd like to work at night, but can't because of environmental concerns over nesting birds.

Interstate-90 isn't a whole lot better.

A project there is forcing delays of up to 90 minutes between North Bend an Cle Elum.

The projects are expected to last until mid-September.

The DOT urges travelers to stay engaged with its website and Twitter feed for tips and updates.

© 2017 KING-TV


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