State Route 520 bridge tolls could divert traffic

January 6, 2012

As the state Department of Transportation plans to start tolls on the state Route 520 bridge, motorists could experience additional traffic on Interstate 90 as commuters avoid the toll.

The state estimates tolls should cause thousands of motorists to use the Interstate 90 bridges or drive around Lake Washington instead.

Meanwhile, the state is encouraging motorists to set up a Good To Go! pass account.

Purchase a pass at www.wsdot.wa.gov/goodtogo or a $5 sticker pass at participating stores, including Safeway and QFC. Find a list of retail locations at www.wsdot.wa.gov/ goodtogo/retail.

The state extended call center hours and hired extra customer service staffers to prepare for the anticipated high volumes of customers registering and activating accounts. Customers can purchase the sticker passes at stores and activate them online.

“Tolling is helping Washington move forward with critical transportation investments and will finance ongoing and future work to replace the vulnerable SR 520 floating bridge and corridor,” state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said in a statement.

Alaskan Way Viaduct closure could impact Eastside traffic

October 20, 2011

NEW — 11:45 a.m., Oct. 20, 2011

The impending Alaskan Way Viaduct shutdown could cause traffic congestion to ripple far from the Seattle waterfront, transportation officials said days before the aging structure closes.

The state Department of Transportation plans to close the viaduct from 7:30 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Oct. 31 as crews demolish viaduct sections, build a bypass at the southern end and construct a southbound off ramp.

The planned closure is the longest ever for a Seattle-area highway. The viaduct serves almost 110,000 motorists each day — and roads throughout the region could clog as commuters seek alternate routes. Read more

Washington is the most bicycle-friendly state

June 3, 2011

Washington is the Most Bicycle Friendly State again.

The ranking from the League of American Bicyclists honors a strong commitment to bicycling through policies and programs. The honor marks the fourth consecutive year the Evergreen State has clinched the No. 1 spot.

“Public support is strong for making biking safer and more convenient for children, commuters and recreational users,” state Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond said in a statement. “WSDOT works closely with regional and local agencies to increase the number of walkers and bikers, while also improving safety to reduce the number of bicycle- and pedestrian- related collisions.”

The league rates states based on bike-friendly legislation, policies and programs, education, places to ride and planning. Washington scored consistently high in all ranking evaluation categories.

Read more

Prepare for full Interstate 405 closure this weekend

March 31, 2011

NEW — 4 p.m. March 31, 2011

The Washington State Department of Transportation will close Interstate 405 between Northeast Eighth Street and the state Route 520 interchange from 11 p.m. April 1 to 4 a.m. April 4 for construction.

Crews will remove the old Northeast 12th Street bridge during the closure.

Click here for more information.

Crews shift focus to freezing conditions on roads

February 24, 2011

NEW — 12:50 p.m. Feb. 24, 2011

Temperatures should plummet into the teens Thursday night, raising the threat of freezing conditions on roads in Newcastle and surrounding areas.

In the city, crews are working in 12-hour shifts to keep roads clear, said Steve Roberge, interim public works director. Crews have focused on the city’s priority routes, clearing side streets as conditions allow.

He said the priority routes are clear as of Thursday afternoon.

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Meteorologists forecast snow for Newcastle in days ahead

February 22, 2011

UPDATED — 8:20 a.m. Feb. 22, 2011

Snow is on the way.

National Weather Service forecasters in Seattle issued a winter storm warning for Western Washington through 10 a.m. Thursday.

Meteorologists predicted 1 to 3 inches of snow accumulation in Newcastle during the daytime Wednesday. The chance of precipitation is 90 percent. The temperature is expected to reach 35 degrees.

The mercury is expected to drop to 28 degrees Wednesday night. Meteorologists predicted another 1 to 3 inches could accumulate overnight Wednesday in Newcastle and the surrounding area.

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Snow forecasted for this afternoon

January 11, 2011

NEW — 10:30 a.m. Jan. 11, 2011

Snow is forecast to start falling after 4 p.m. today — just in time for the afternoon commute.

National Weather Service forecasters said the Newcastle area could receive 1 to 3 inches of snow tonight. The chance of precipitation is 90 percent.

Residents should also brace for strong winds, including gusts up to 29 mph.

The weather service has issued a winter weather advisory for the area from 4 p.m. Tuesday until 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Meteorologists said the temperature and the snow level should rise Wednesday. Expect rainy conditions for the rest of the day and Wednesday night.

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