SNOQUALMIE PASS – Are you heading for recreation areas in eastern Washington or to the big cities on the west side this weekend? Regardless of which side of the state you pick, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is making it easier for you to plan your trip over Snoqualmie Pass.
Travelers can now view a new traffic flow map that shows real-time traffic conditions on Interstate 90 between North Bend and Ellensburg and decide whether to take another route, delay their trip or continue on. Travelers can access the new flow maps from their favorite mobile device at home or on the road by checking out the What’s Happening on I-90 and Snoqualmie Mountain Pass pages.
“At one point or another, drivers have been caught off guard due to collisions, holiday travel or construction when traveling over Snoqualmie Pass,” said Rick Gifford, WSDOT traffic engineer. “The flow maps will show drivers where the delays are along the pass and that way they can decide whether to wait it out or pull off at the next exit to get a snack or get fuel.”
So what do all the colors on the map mean? Green means no congestion or delays and drivers are good to go; yellow indicates moderate congestion with some delay; red means heavy congestion with longer delays; and black means stop-and-go traffic. Above the flow map is a box that provides travel times that show how long it will take to travel from North Bend to Ellensburg.
The system works by using a series of 22 sensors along the highway that pick up speeds of vehicles in different lanes. A computer crunches the data and presents the information in the form of colorful maps that visually depict roadway congestion.
This work was funded by $800,000 of electrical preservation funds, as well as $500,000 from the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East corridor project. The $1.3 million project replaces a 20-year-old communications system and includes the online flow maps, the travel time signs that were activated earlier this summer, and provides real-time information to drivers and our Traffic Management Center.
Hyperlinks within the news release:
· Construction website www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/i90/whatshappening