Slowdown Lowdown

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Archives: May 2012


ALL CLEAR: Stretch of I-90 closed for rock blasting

UPDATE as of 8:23 p.m. All lanes are now open.

INITIAL POST: Drivers heading through Snoqualmie Pass should expect an hour delay tonight since a stretch of Interstate 90 is closed for rock blasting.

State Department of Transportation workers closed both directions at 7:30 p.m. An estimated opening time is unknown.

Eastbound traffic is stopped at milepost 54 near Kyak and westbound traffic is stopped at milepost 61 near Price Creek.


Two ferries for Vashon Island out of service, causing delays

Problems with a fire-suppression system has sidelined the regular ferry on the Point Defiance to Tahlequah route and a boat half its size has taken its place, creating delays for passengers.

The 64-car Chetzemoka is being repaired. On Tuesday, it was replaced with the 34-car Hiyu. Since it carries fewer vehicles, drivers are warned to arrive early to ensure they can get on board.

Also, a ferry on the Fauntleroy-Vashon Island-Southworth route is out for repairs. It is not being replaced at this time. Instead, the route will be served by the 124-car Kitsap and 87-car Tillikum.


UPDATED: Point Defiance ferry out of service

The Chetzemoka, the ferry that runs from Point Defiance to Tahlequah on Vashon Island, is out of service due to mechanical issues, the state Department of Transportation reports.

The ferry had problems this morning with its fire suppression system, according to a spokeswoman for the Washington State Ferries. The 3:40 p.m. sailing was canceled as crews continue troubleshooting the problem. UPDATED: DOT reports the ferry is out of service for the rest of the day; spokeswoman Susan Harris said she is not sure when it will be back in service.

Check the ferries’ site for updates. Alternate routes are

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Snow slides close Chinook Pass

Chinook Pass is closed due to several snow slides over the roadway. Slide removal and avalanche control work are in progress. The roadway will remain closed until at least 8 p.m. tonight. An assessment will then be made to determine if conditions are safe to open the roadway .


New Tacoma website offers information on neighborhood road, utility projects

Tacoma residents wondering about road construction and utility work in their neighborhood have a new place to turn for answers.

The City of Tacoma has launched a new website that allows residents to find out more information about the road projects that impact their commutes and movement around the city.

The site allows users to search by address, business district, City Council district or neighborhood district.  Users can also select a time period they are interested in.

The projects are highlighted in blue. Users can click the project and find the construction time period and a description of what

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Traveling for Memorial Day weekend: Plan your best escape time

The good news for your Memorial Day Weekend escape: The weather is looking nice, at least for Friday and Saturday. The bad news: Whether you are traveling by plane, train or automobile (or ferry), you can expect crowds – and high gas prices if you’re filling a tank.

The Washington State Department of Transportation offers a variety of weekend travel tips on its website, including this visualization of peak travel times for weekend to plan the least crowded departure times on Interstate 5 (other routes here.)