BELLEVUE, Wash. – It happened again Wednesday – another traffic nightmare tied up the freeway and delayed thousands of drivers.
The problem this time: A semi-truck rolled over and blocked multiple lanes of Interstate 405 in Bellevue. WSDOT cleared the mainline lanes by 930 a.m. but crews remained on scene past 5 p.m. repairing damage and removing debris.
The Washington State Department of Transportation said once a large accident happens, it can be tough to get everyone else moving quickly again.
Commuter Lina Stanfield, who rides King County Metro buses from SeaTac to Bellevue, said she was stuck on the freeway for a long time.
“I was watching the news on my cellphone as we were parked on the bus,” she said.
“This is totally the new normal,” said WSDOT spokesperson Travis Phelps.
He added there is only so many other places drivers can be rerouted.
“Sure we can re-time signals, we can do a lot of stuff, but when there’s a signal every block, you start running out of places to put people,” he said.
WSDOT said they need help from commuters who can delay their commute or work from home during major traffic accidents. Phelps said those people will likely have the biggest impact on minimizing long traffic jams.
“We’re asking those who can, when they see something like this, don’t get in line with everybody else,” he said.
Stanfield said she was happy her boss was understanding and didn’t fire her on the first day on the job.
“My boss said, we understand there’s an accident, it’s OK,” she said. “It’s your first day, just come on in on time tomorrow.”
The Washington State Patrol cited the driver of the truck for driving too fast for rainy conditions.