When is the best time to drive this Thanksgiving?

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on November 19, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Nov 22 at 9:55 AM

With people traveling across Puget Sound for the Thanksgiving weekend, heavy traffic is expected on roads, ferries, trains and at Sea-Tac Airport.

Thanksgiving weekend is typically one of the busiest travel periods of the year for the mountain passes.

A few other events this weekend will slow down traffic. Interstate 5 exits in downtown Seattle will likely be congested Friday due to traffic from the annual Macy's Holiday Parade. Sunday is the Seattle Marathon, which will close ramps on I-5 and SR 520, as well as the I-5 and I-90 express lanes.

I-5 and I-90 express lanes will operate on weekend schedule Thanksgiving Day.

The Washington State Department of Transportation has statewide information for travelers online, via 511, their phoneline, and on the radio at 530 and 1610 AM.

For the holiday weekend, WSDOT also has information about specific stretches of road, including I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass, US 2 over Stevens Pass, I-5 between Thurston and Pierce counties, and I-5 between Bellingham and the U.S./Canadian border.

WSDOT has created charts showing the expected traffic volumes for Thanksgiving week.

As the graphs turn from green to yellow, drivers can expect some congestion. At the hours shown as red, traffic analysts predict travel will reach capacity for that stretch of roadway. Once a roadway reaches capacity, any small incident can cause significant backups.

If you don't see a day listed, it means traffic volumes are expected to be normal.

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