The 5 biggest potential headaches for 4th of July travelers in WA

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As the Fourth of July approaches, the holiday travel rush is already underway. And with many hitting the roads, traffic pileups could soon ensue.

After speaking with both Washington State Ferries and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), FOX 13’s Lauren Donovan identified five potential trouble spots travelers should prepare for:

1. FERRY ROUTES WITHOUT RESERVATIONS

Washington State Ferries (WSF) predicts an estimated 700,000 ferry riders over the next week. 

WSF spokesperson Ian Sterling anticipates a surge of travelers will be bound for Whidbey Island and the Peninsula. 

He says sailings from routes without reservations will feel the strain most: Edmonds-Kingston, Seattle-Bainbridge and Mukilteo-Clinton. 

“That’s where you start to see those lines during peak travel times,” remarked Sterling. “If one boat goes out one place, you have a domino effect where it may not just affect that route, a boat may have to be moved from another route.”

2. PENINSULA BEACH ROUTES

All routes to ocean beaches are affected by WSDOT fish passage work, which could create some serious backups.

3. THE STRETCH OF I-90 BETWEEN EASTON TO CLE ELUM

Despite a week-long pause on I-90 road projects, WSDOT spokesperson Summer Derry expects congestion on the 13-mile span between Cle Elum and Easton. Some westbound drivers ran into a jam that lasted nearly an hour on Sunday.

During the summer months, traffic volumes double on mountain passes.

“The good news for travelers is that since this holiday is so spread out, they may see a little less congestion,” assured Derry.

4. CROSSING THE COLUMBIA RIVER OVER THE VANTAGE BRIDGE 

Another pinch point could be the Vantage Bridge, which is currently in the process of being replaced.

“If you’re planning to get there in a couple of hours, what if it took significantly more because you were stopped somewhere? So pack things in your car to be comfortable for an extended period of time,” suggested Derry. “As we get into the fourth of July holiday we get into a lot of fire danger. So the possibility of I-90 shutting down for a handful of reasons is a reality.”

5. TO AND FROM THE GORGE

With back-to-back concerts this coming Friday and Saturday, expect delays near Quincy. Derry advises anyone traveling through this area, especially concert attendees, to hit the road early. That goes for the route home as well. 

“Everybody is going to go home all at once Sunday and Monday,” shared Derry.

MORE FOX 13 SEATTLE NEWS:

These new Washington laws go into effect July 1

Pac-12 Network goes off-air, no longer available

Snohomish County sees 14th child fall out window this year

Everett neighbors question woman’s actions after rash of porch package thefts

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