Peak travel times over Thanksgiving weekend

SEATTLE — If you’re planning on hitting the road for the Thanksgiving holiday, the best advice from the Washington State Department of Transportation is to leave early and be prepared for winter driving conditions if you’re heading over the mountains.

While crews will still plow roads, due to a staff shortage, some roads may have snow or ice on them longer, closures may last longer and some areas may not get plowed as often as in past years.

On holiday weekends, highways across the state will see higher than usual traffic volumes, especially on I-90, where long delays are expected.

Experts expect traffic heading east on I-90 Wednesday to hit its peak between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Those heading west should expect to see backups from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

>>Mountain pass conditions | Thanksgiving weekend travel charts | Winter driving essentials

That window gets even tighter for I-5.

WSDOT said to expect backups southbound between Tacoma and Lacey from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Those heading north could see traffic from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WSDOT said are no charts for I-5 at the Canadian border this year because it only recently reopened and COVID-19 testing and vaccination requirements have made it difficult to forecast travel patterns.