Thursday, March 5, 2009

This News Release Just In From WSDOT

Olympia- Winter hasn't given up its grip on Washington just yet. Snow and ice greeted drivers in Puget Sound's higher elevations and mountain pass highways this morning, with snow showers in much lower elevations than early forecasts predicted. WSDOT closed I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass and a portion of SR 18 near Tiger Summit during afternoon hours due to heavy snow, spinouts and collisions. Both roadways are now open.

There could be more snow to come in the overnight hours, and drivers should prepare for winter driving and possible black ice Friday morning.

And then Washington drivers can expect a quick breather before readying for the next round: a heavy storm forecasted to hit the mountains and most of eastern Washington late Saturday. Snow is also possible Saturday in western Washington's higher hills.

WSDOT uses tools and technology to manage and dispatch winter roadway crews 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week where needed most. These crews use salt and anti-icing compounds, or sand to treat and clear highways of snow and ice. On Snoqualmie Pass, close to 20 equipment operators will work over the weekend to keep I-90 safe and open. For more on WSDOT's winter operations visit www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter.

Before you go, check the WSDOT Web site and local media reports. It is also important to check the mountain pass reports for any scheduled road closures for avalanche control.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.