Photos: WSDOT warns of traffic delays in Skagit Valley

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Pink tulip
Photo by Dennis Terpstra
The tulips are in full bloom in the Skagit Valley and the festival is underway.

WSDOT is already warning about traffic:

Skagit County travelers need to plan for heavy traffic along Interstate 5 near Mount Vernon during the next few weeks this spring.

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival has just started and will have folks flocking to the area to check out the flowers in full bloom.

Most drivers will have a clear path to the festival during the first two weekends of April, as no significant work is currently planned near Mount Vernon that will affect traffic.

However, increased delays are expected northbound during the last three weekends of April when contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will reduce I-5 to two narrow lanes to replace aging expansion joints near Marysville.

“The tulip festival is one of the biggest events in the county, and it always draws a crowd,” said WSDOT Assistant Regional Administrator Jay Drye. “The forecast calls for some great weather and should make for an enjoyable opening weekend for visitors. However, drivers should plan ahead and pack some patience when driving to the festival, especially later this month.”

Starting the night of April 15, contractor crews will begin replacing expansion joints on northbound I-5 on the Ebey and Steamboat slough bridges. Traffic will be limited to two narrow lanes and the speed limit reduced to 45 mph through the construction zone. The work will be completed by mid-June.

A list of scheduled weekend lane reductions can be found on the project website.

The fields looked like last weekend
Photo by Lee Lageschulte
Festival-goers should think about taking alternate routes to reach the tulip fields and help ease congestion on I-5 in Mount Vernon. Northbound drivers can take Exit 221 Conway/Lake McMurray and use Fir Island Road.

The official tulip festival runs April 1-30 this year. Here's the brochure of activities in the Skagit Valley.



1 comments:

Anonymous,  April 4, 2016 at 5:46 PM  

Went to the tulip festival on Saturday. It took three hours to get to the tulip fields from Seattle! Took around 2 hours to drive home. Not my idea of a fun afternoon.

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