Apple Maps routed drivers heading to Snoqualmie Pass onto dirt road

EASTON, Wash. — Drivers heading to Snoqualmie Pass on eastbound Interstate 90 were warned not to use Apple Maps.

A construction project near Easton reroutes traffic, but Apple Maps was interpreting it as a road closure and rerouting traffic off I-90 and onto Kachess Lake Road, according to Snoqualmie Fire & Rescue Chief Jay Wiseman.

“A few weeks ago, eastbound traffic was rerouted at milepost 67,” Wiseman stated. “During the project, which is estimated to be six years, both east and westbound lanes will be located on the traditional westbound side of this section of I-90. Apple Maps is mistakenly viewing this as an eastbound closure and routing traffic off of I-90, and onto Lake Kachess Road at exit 62. This U.S. Forest Services road is a dirt road that is not maintained and does not receive winter maintenance. I am concerned that this alternative routing issue is putting the public at risk of being stranded on unmaintained USFS roads in winter months near Snoqualmie Pass.”

If you drive on eastbound I-90 and get off the Stampede Pass/Kachess Lake Road exit, you’ll see a sign flashing, “DON’T FOLLOW GPS. STAY ON I-90 EAST.’ If you continue driving down Kachess Lake Road, you’ll see homemade signs reading, “YOUR GPS IS WRONG...TURN AROUND HERE!”

The issues had been going on since September, according to local residents and workers.

“I’ve had a lady who was in tears (because) she did not know where she was. She had a hard time figuring it out because she doesn’t have service here,” said Paula, a year-round resident living near Lake Kachess Road. “You’re not thinking, ‘The map or my GPS is going to send me somewhere wrong. Must be that I have to get off the highway!’”

“It’s just causing chaos and they come through here thinking it’s a freeway. Coming through at 40, 50, 60 miles per hour,” said Murray, another area resident. “Semitrailers coming down a mountain road that isn’t designated for semitrailers, and then, they get wedged halfway up the street. Some of them even try to get down the dirt road and they need more help.”

Jose, a construction worker, said he’s noticed the uptick in traffic for over a month.

“It’s unsafe for us,” said Jose. “We work here on the village of Kachess, and there’s a lot of traffic, and a lot of them are going really fast. But what can we do?”

That’s a question residents and Wiseman claim they’ve asked Apple, with little success.

While residents claim their inquires are unanswered, Wiseman said he was able to get in touch with Apple.

“Apple was going to send me instructions by email to report to the public on how to fix the routing error, but I have not received that email,” Wiseman stated.

On Friday, Apple told KIRO 7 the problem had been fixed.

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