If you live in the Snoqualmie Valley – and specifically North Bend – you know that summer weekend traffic on I-90 heading toward Snoqualmie Pass can be brutal at times. BUT, throw in WSDOT road projects – which also have to occur during summer months – and brutal can often become unbearable.
Last weekend, Friday evening traffic for North Bend residents was one of those times. Some residents reported two hour travel times to get from Bellevue to home, with traffic equally as bad on I-90 as it was on SR 202 and North Bend Way. At 3:30PM, eastbound 90 traffic was backed up all the way to near the Snoqualmie Casino.
Those big backups were due to concrete panel replacement on bridge decks that required keeping lanes closed while the new concrete cured.
By last Sunday afternoon, travelers heading home on westbound I-90 experienced more than two hour delays between Cle Elum and the Snoqualmie Pass summit. That traffic didn’t clear up until almost 10PM Sunday night.
NOTE: This weekend happens to the big three-day, Watershed Music Festival at the Gorge in eastern Washington, on top of increased summer travelers.
According to WSDOT, construction and maintenance work continues this week along I-90 between North Bend and Vantage so drivers are urged to plan ahead and add travel time Monday through Saturday due to lane closures.
KIRO Radio traffic reporter Chris Sullivan says these “nightmarish” weekend drives to head east on I-90 – and again back westbound – are expected to last throughout August.
Contributing writer Melissa Grant said she just missed last Friday’s backup by arriving home around 2PM, just as residents started reporting the extreme traffic trying to get into town.
So Snoqualmie Valley, the summer weather has returned finally, but it also brought summer roadwork and the summer traffic headaches we all wish we didn’t have to experience.
If you’re traveling this weekend – or any weekend in August – near or over Snoqualmie Pass, you’re advised to leave early and bring your patience.
Here’s hoping it’s not as bad as last weekend.