North Bend traffic woes make the news: technology, I-90 construction make BIG mess for local drivers

It’s been a long, traffic-filled  summer for North Bend residents, especially on weekends. Many are ready for fall.

Some residents have expressed frustration, saying they feel like prisoners in their own town due to summer travelers using SR 202 and North Bend Way to avoid I-90 backups caused by construction projects on eastbound and westbound I-90 between North Bend and Snoqualmie Pass.

This past Saturday – after an hour-long trip to the grocery store that should’ve taken only a few minutes – some residents warned others via Facebook not to leave their homes unless they had to… or once again face insane congestion through downtown North Bend.

It’s something that’s become a weekend fact of life… in part, thanks to technology. Apps like Waze, Google Maps and iPhone Maps regularly find alternate routes for drivers when mainline freeways are congested. So many drivers get off at exit 27 and then back on at exit 34.

On top of that, North Bend has become a big hiking destination AND the city has its own construction projects occurring through downtown. As a result, it’s kind of become a traffic ‘perfect storm.’

So will it ease up soon? According to a new KOMO News story on North Bend’s traffic woes, WSDOT says there’s really nothing they can do. Traffic apps are causing this kind of congestion for small towns all around the country.

But maybe there is light at the end of the sumer-traffic-tunnel. According to WSDOT’s I-90 project page, the lane closures causing slowdowns for summer travelers are slated to end soon.

Here’s the update:

North Bend Vicinity
Mileposts: 34 – 52

  • Friday, Aug. 18th – Sunday, Aug. 27th – Eastbound drivers can expect lane closures 24 hours a day from milepost 34 near North Bend to milepost 52 near the summit of Snoqualmie pass. Drivers traveling on Fridays should plan for 30 minutes of added travel time due to increased traffic volumes for the weekend.
  • Friday, Aug. 18th – Sunday, Aug. 27th  – The westbound lanes from milepost 52 near the summit of Snoqualmie Pass to milepost 34 near North Bend will be reduced to two lanes, with one lane shifted around the work zone as crews repair several bridge decks. This traffic shift will remain in place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. On Sundays drivers should plan for an hour or more of added travel time due to increased volumes from the weekend.

Hopefully next summer won’t be quite so bad. Hang in there everyone!

 

 

 

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