Thanksgiving week travel expected to be almost as busy as pre-pandemic levels
While some Americans are preparing to spend the holiday with their families, the state of Washington is expecting a busy travel season as travelers head to the national parks, forests and forests.
From Friday ahead to Wednesday, the Washington State Department of Transportation plans to run a number of additional daily lane closures over the traditional Thanksgiving week travel weekend.
The majority of the closures will take place on Interstate 5 between the Washington State Patrol headquarters in Olympia and State Route 410 in Richland. In all, the state Department of Transportation plans to run 24-hour traffic signals along the interstate for each of those closures. During the same time period, the department says that an additional 22-mile stretch of roadway will be shut down due to snow-removal efforts.
Meanwhile, there will also be another 14-mile stretch of roadway between the north entrance of the Mount Washington Tunnel and the north entrance of the Tunnel on the Tolt Highway.
The department also plans to close the highway from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Friday before shutting down the highway at 8:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
While some of the closures on Thursday, Friday and Saturday have already been confirmed while travel on Sunday will be less than normal due to the holiday weekend.
“After considering all of the safety and operational challenges associated with holiday travel, the Department is extending the closures of I-5 between State Route 410 and State Route 325, State Route 355 at the north end of the Snoqualmie Pass, and the north entrance of the Mount Washington Tunnel through Friday, Dec. 1, 2020,” the department said in the statement.
All traffic restrictions on the Mount Washington Tunnel will be lifted on Sunday, Dec. 3.
In addition, at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, State Highway 5 will also close between Washington Street and Washington State Route 325.
The highway will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 7, from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and again on Friday, Dec. 8, from 9 p.