By Stefanie Donahue
It’s that time of year again – the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is in full bloom.
The popular festival began April 1 and will run through the rest of the month. Consequently, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is warning drivers to plan ahead and consider alternative routes.
“Tulip season is a beautiful time to visit Skagit County,” said WSDOT assistant regional administrator Jay Drye. “We just want to make sure visitors plan ahead before hitting the road and consider alternate routes to help ease congestion.”
Congestion along I-5 is expected to be worse than past years thanks to a bridge construction project, located just north of Starbird Road. Traffic in the area has been reduced to two lanes and lowered speed limits.
To assist drivers, staff with WSDOT released three separate routes to access the festival while avoiding I-5. Northbound drivers can take the Conway/Lake McMurray exit and use Fir Island Road; southbound drivers can get off at the Burlington/Anacortes exit and follow west State Route 20; and drivers in either direction can also hop on SR 9.
For real-time updates on traffic, consider downloading the WSDOT traffic app for your mobile device, or take a peek at the WSDOT Twitter feed for regular updates.