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Avoid Heavy Traffic This Weekend

Pssst! Want to avoid heavy traffic over the Labor Day weekend? Then read on …

The state Department of Transportation says highways across the state will see typical heavy holiday weekend – especially

on Interstate 90 and Interstate 5 – along with longer-than-average wait times at ferry docks and Canadian border

crossings. But traffic will be lighter at some times of day, even on the most congested routes.

Here’s what to expect on the most heavily traveled highways, based on patterns observed on previous Labor Day weekends:

FRIDAY, AUG. 30

  • Northbound I-5 near the U.S.-Canada border: Lightest traffic, 8 a.m. and earlier or after 11 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 1 to 6 p.m.
  • Southbound I-5 near the U.S.-Canada border: Lightest traffic, 5 a.m. and earlier or after 9 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Eastbound Hwy. 2 between Skykomish and Stevens Pass: Lightest traffic, 9 a.m. and earlier or after 8 p.m.; moderate to heavy traffic all other times
  • Eastbound I-90 between North Bend and Cle Elum: Lightest traffic, 7 a.m. or earlier and after 9 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Westbound I-90 between North Bend and Cle Elum: Lightest traffic, 9 a.m. or earlier and after 8 p.m.; moderate traffic all other times
  • Northbound I-5 between Olympia and Tacoma: Lightest traffic, 4 a.m. and earlier or after 10 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Southbound I-5 between Olympia and Tacoma: Lightest traffic, 5 a.m. and earlier or after 11 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

SATURDAY, AUG. 31

  • Northbound I-5 near the U.S.-Canada border: Lightest traffic, 7 a.m. and earlier or after 11 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 2 to 5 p.m.
  • Southbound I-5 near the U.S.-Canada border: Lightest traffic, 6 a.m. and earlier or after 8 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Eastbound Hwy. 2 between Skykomish and Stevens Pass: Lightest traffic, 8 a.m. and earlier or after 2 p.m.; moderate to heavy traffic all other times
  • Eastbound I-90 between North Bend and Cle Elum: Lightest traffic, 6 a.m. or earlier and after 6 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 9 a.m. to noon
  • Westbound I-90 between North Bend and Cle Elum: Lightest traffic, 8 a.m. or earlier and after 8 p.m.; moderate traffic all other times
  • Northbound I-5 between Olympia and Tacoma: Lightest traffic, 7 a.m. and earlier or after 10 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Southbound I-5 between Olympia and Tacoma: Lightest traffic, 6 a.m. and earlier or after 10 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 1

  • Northbound I-5 near the U.S.-Canada border: Lightest traffic, 8 a.m. and earlier or after 11 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 2 to 6 p.m.
  • Southbound I-5 near the U.S.-Canada border: Lightest traffic, 7 a.m. and earlier or after 9 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Eastbound Hwy. 2 between Skykomish and Stevens Pass: Lightest traffic, 9 a.m. and earlier or after 2 p.m.; moderate to heavy traffic all other times
  • Westbound Hwy. 2 between Skykomish and Stevens Pass: Lightest traffic, 1 p.m. and earlier or after 9 p.m.; moderate to heavy traffic all other times
  • Eastbound I-90 between North Bend and Cle Elum: Lightest traffic, 8 a.m. or earlier and after 5 p.m.; moderate traffic all other times
  • Westbound I-90 between North Bend and Cle Elum: Lightest traffic, 9 a.m. or earlier and after 10 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 2 to 5 p.m.
  • Northbound I-5 between Olympia and Tacoma: Lightest traffic, 8 a.m. and earlier or after 11 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Southbound I-5 between Olympia and Tacoma: Lightest traffic, 7 a.m. and earlier or after 10 p.m.; heaviest traffic(congested or stop-and-go), 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

LABOR DAY, SEPT. 2

  • Northbound I-5 near the U.S.-Canada border: Lightest traffic, 9 a.m. and earlier or after 10 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Southbound I-5 near the U.S.-Canada border: Lightest traffic, 7 a.m. and earlier or after 9 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Westbound Hwy. 2 between Skykomish and Stevens Pass: Lightest traffic, 8 a.m. and earlier or after 7 p.m.; moderate to heavy traffic all other times
  • Eastbound I-90 between North Bend and Cle Elum: Lightest traffic, 9 a.m. or earlier and after 5 p.m.; moderate traffic all other times
  • Westbound I-90 between North Bend and Cle Elum: Lightest traffic, 7 a.m. or earlier and after 10 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Northbound I-5 between Olympia and Tacoma: Lightest traffic, 7 a.m. and earlier or after 11 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Southbound I-5 between Olympia and Tacoma: Lightest traffic, 7 a.m. and earlier or after 9 p.m.; heaviest traffic (congested or stop-and-go), 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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And here are some handy links for real-time traffic info over the Labor Day weekend and any time:

View WSDOT highway traffic cameras across the state >>

View mountain pass traffic and weather reports >>

View Seattle-area travel times >>

View Washington State Ferries alerts >>

View Washington State Ferries arrivals, departures in real time >>

View Canadian border traffic in real time >>

About Laurie Hardie

Laurie is a rare Seattle-born Native. She has raised her children, but as a working mom knows how important it is to look and feel your best. She currently volunteers with Queen It’s a New Day, a non-profit organization in Everett, giving women a hand up to feel great inside and out. As a published author and life coach, Laurie is WARM’s Afternoon Traffic host with the philosophy of…” traffic is a lot like life, sometimes you have a speed –limit drive and sometimes you hit a slow-down or detour, but with the right guidance and information, we can all get through it together”.