The Washington State Department of Transportation is implementing a project to try and solve westbound chain-up woes this winter. The system is used throughout the winter when traction tires are required for trucks traveling westbound and are over 10,000 pounds. Passenger vehicles traveling westbound with four wheel and all wheel drive are not required to chain up.
Recent improvements to I-90 nearly doubled the length and width of the westbound chain-up area. Overhead message signs help guide trucks in the westbound chain-up area, streamlining the process and helping improve safety for all drivers on I-90.
Here's how the system works (pdf 1.4 mb):
- FOLLOW THE SIGNS
When traction tires are required, trucks traveling westbound and are over 10,000 pounds must chain up. Overhead signs will direct trucks to the chain-up area and notify trucks where a chain-up space is available.
- CHAIN UP
Trucks will chain up westbound in a single-file line. Pull forward as directed. Do not park side-by-side because you will block other trucks from merging back into traffic.
- MERGE INTO TRAFFIC
Once chains are on, carefully merge back into traffic. Parking in the westbound chain-up area is limited to 30 minutes to install chains and will be enforced. Parking and sleeping in the westbound chain-up area is prohibited.