Don’t Let Holiday Traffic Detour Your Turkey Day

DOT sealWith family gatherings, football – and turkey! – highways can get stuffed with traffic during Thanksgiving weekend. For trips as sweet as pumpkin pie, drivers are encouraged to plan ahead and take advantage of Washington State Department of Transportation’s travel tools.

Tips for stress-free holiday travel include:

  • Consult WSDOT’s travel times charts, which use historical information to help drivers know before they go.
  • Check out online tools, including mobile apps, traffic cameras and email alerts.
  • Visit our online traveler information about traffic, weather and ferry schedules.
  • Follow WSDOT’s social media accounts, such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Pre-program 530 AM and 1610 AM to vehicle radios for highway advisory radio alerts.
  • Carry chains and other winter driving essentials.
  • Check current chain and traction requirements on the WSDOT passes website or by calling 5-1-1, and watch for highway advisory signs.
  • Leave extra time for holiday and winter travel, slow down and drive appropriately for conditions.

Apple Cup travel

Those traveling to the Friday, Nov. 25, Apple Cup football game in Pullman should also plan ahead for possible winter weather on passes and allow extra travel time to ensure they arrive before the 12:30 p.m. kickoff.

Mountain passes

In the mountains, State Route 123 Cayuse Pass (elevation 4,675 feet), State Route 20 North Cascades Highway (elevation 5,477 feet) and Chinook Pass (elevation 5,430 feet) remain open as of Nov. 17, but the status can change quickly. On Snoqualmie Pass (elevation 3,022), a new service will send text alerts for pass delays 30 minutes or longer – text “wsdot snoqualmie” to 468311 to subscribe, and “wsdot stop” to unsubscribe.


In the Puget Sound, the State Route 520 bridge will have weekend toll rates on Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, returning to weekday rates on Friday, Nov. 25. On the Interstate 405 express toll lanes, travel is free to all on the Thanksgiving holiday, returning to normal toll and HOV requirements from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday. Weekends are always free to travel in the lanes.