Slowdown Lowdown

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Archives: Oct. 2010


Multi-car crash blocks lanes on NB I-5 in Lakewood Friday afternoon

6:00 p.m. UPDATE – The snarl continues. WSDOT has not released an estimated end time. The backup now extends to the Martin Way exit near Lacey.

The state DOT reported that a multi-vehicle collision was blocking the two right lanes of northbound Interstate 5 just north of Bridgeport Way in Lakewood Friday afternoon.

The accident happened around 4:35 p.m. at milepost 127.

The State Patrol and DOT Incident Response and fire are on the scene. Backups are three miles to Thorne Lane and growing. Motorists can expect delays and plan their route accordingly.


ALL CLEAR: Crash blocks lane of I-5 in Lakewood

A four-car crash is blocking the left lane of southbound Interstate 5 in Lakewood, the state DOT reports.

Troopers were headed to the scene near the Thorne Lane exit.

UPDATE: The crash has been cleared.  Drivers are backed up for more than a mile.


Chinook Pass closed after heavy snowfall

State Route 410 over Chinook Pass is temporarily closed because of heavy snowfall and an increased avalanche danger.

The highway is closed from near Morse Creek to near Crystal Mountain Boulevard, the state DOT reported just after noon today.

DOT is not estimating what the highway will reopen.


Wintery storms prompt early studded-tire season

It’s official: Stud season is here. This just over from the Washington State Department of Transportation:

Winter weather forecast for Cascade Mountain passes; WSDOT allows studded tires starting today

OLYMPIA – With a heavy snowfall forecast for the mountain passes today and Tuesday, drivers can start using studded tires and truck drivers should make sure they have chains, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announced today.

Forecasts call for winter storms with snow levels dropping to 3000 feet today through Tuesday for all major Cascade Mountain passes. The higher elevation passes may be most impacted by the storm.

· I-90

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Updated: EB I-90 lanes blocked by crash near Cle Elum Saturday morning

The state DOT is reporting that both lanes of eastbound Interstate 90 are blocked due to a collision near Cle Elum Saturday morning. Westbound lanes are open to traffic.

The accident happened at milepost 80 around 10:40 a.m. DOT estimated that the scene will be cleared by noon.

Motorist will experience 4 miles of back-up and an added 30 minutes to their trip.

11:10 A.M. UPDATE: Motorist will experience 6 miles of back-up and an added 45 minutes to their trip due to a collision blocking both lanes.

12:10 P.M. UPDATE: Both lanes are now open. However, motorist

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Traffic Q&A: Why the beauty bark along SR 16?

From reporter Mike Archbold

Question: State Route 16 users may have been wondering about a landscaping project that’s been happening over the past month or so. Eric Dooley of Gig Harbor wrote in questioning the project:

“Is anyone else troubled that during a recession they are putting beauty bark on the side hills of Hwy 16 between 6th Ave and 19th?” he asked in an e-mail. “Is there no better way to spend money during economic hard times?”

Among others scratching their heads was state Rep. Larry Seaquist of Gig Harbor who asked the Washington State Department of Transportation why it was spreading mulch on the roadside along SR 16, an area that was hydro-seeded just three years ago.
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Season’s first winter driving conditions expected Saturday in the mountain passes

If you’re headed across the mountain passes this weekend, you might want to prepare for winter driving, the state Department of Transportation reports.

The forecast calls for snow on Saturday and freezing levels hovering around 4,000 feet for the state’s major mountain passes – U.S. 12 (White Pass), U.S. 2 (Stevens Pass) and Interstate 90 (Snoqualmie Pass).

The winter driving conditions come days before studded tires are allowed and chains are required to be carried in commercial vehicles and other rigs with a more than 10,000-pound gross vehicle weight rating.

You can put studded tires on your vehicles starting Nov.

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