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Ferries to be busy for Fourth of July holiday weekend

Travelers board the ferry at the Mukilteo dock this week. Officials from Washington State Ferries say state ferries will be busiest during westbound trips on Thursday and Friday, and eastbound sailings on Tuesday.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Travelers board the ferry at the Mukilteo dock this week. Officials from Washington State Ferries say state ferries will be busiest during westbound trips on Thursday and Friday, and eastbound sailings on Tuesday.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

Have visitors coming to the island for the holiday, or heading to town for a fireworks show? Washington State Ferries said ferries will be busiest during westbound trips on Thursday and Friday, and eastbound sailings on Tuesday.

The Clinton-Mukiteo route will operate on its regular summer sailing schedule throughout the long weekend.

WSF officials said travelers on the Clinton-Mukilteo route will face heavy traffic in the afternoons and evenings on Thursday and Friday. Heavy traffic is also expected on the route on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The worst time to travel on July 4 on the Clinton-Mukilteo run will be between 1 and 5 p.m.

And on Tuesday, the longest waits at the Clinton terminal will be before 10 a.m., officials said. WSF advises travelers to wait until after the morning commute, if possible, before heading to the ferry terminal.

On the Coupeville (Keystone)-Port Townsend route, reservations are filling up fast, according to WSF, and travelers should make reservations as soon as possible. The route will operate on its regular summer sailing schedule throughout the long weekend; reservations are available online or by calling 511.

For travelers heading off Whidbey, officials with the Washington State Department of Transportation said work at most construction projects around the state will move off the highway from noon Friday, July 1, to Tuesday morning, July 5.

Drivers headed to Seattle on July 4 should be prepared for heavy congestion and evening lane and ramp closures on southbound I-5. Closures will start at 9 p.m., about one hour before the fireworks show on Lake Union.

Over the holiday weekend, drivers should also expect congestion and delays on Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass, US 2 over Stevens Pass, Interstate 5 near the U.S.-Canadian border and I-5 between Olympia and Tacoma.

Officials with AAA said many Americans will stick closer to home this Fourth of July holiday weekend. The car club expects 39 million Americans to travel 50 miles or more from home, which is about a million fewer travelers from the year before, because of high gas prices.

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