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Vancouver BC to Seatac...best route??

Vancouver, Canada
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Vancouver BC to Seatac...best route??

We will be leaving Vancouver at 3:30pm on a Thursday for a 10pm flight. Knowing that we will be hitting Seattle at the peak of rush hour is there an alternate route that can be recommended to avoid it or are we best to just sit it out? There will be 4 of us so any car pool lanes may apply? Any maps or online route planning doesn't outline things like car pool lanes so I thought it best to ask the locals. Also I am used to the drive taking less than 4 hrs, do you think it could take more than that?

Thanks Bunches!

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Vancouver BC to Seatac...best route??

Do you have Nexus passes? If not, then realistically you won't be in the US until 4:30 - 5, so you'd probably miss the traffic peaks in the Seattle metro area.

There are carpool lanes on I-5 that you can use between Everett and the Northgate area of Seattle, then again from downtown all the way to the airport. (There are also reversible "express" lanes between Northgate and downtown, but they'll be carrying northbound traffic.)

I'd just sit it out; chances are that you'll be past the worst of it by the time you get to Seattle. I wouldn't be worried with a 10pm flight.

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for Seattle
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2. Re: Vancouver BC to Seatac...best route??

If you take 405 south from Lynwood then you'd have the carpool lane all the way to Seatac. Normally 405 is more congested than 5 but with the carpool lane you'd avoid any delays.

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3. Re: Vancouver BC to Seatac...best route??

There have been times on 405 when the car pool lane was moving slower than the other lanes. I recommend dialing 511 before you get to the 5/405 split and hear if there are any major problems on either of the two highways and then make you decision. That's always been my "battle plan."

Seattle, Wa
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4. Re: Vancouver BC to Seatac...best route??

Can you leave just a little later so that you aren't coming in rush hour? You will probably miss the worst of it but you should expect traffic beginning at Everett. There's really no good way around it. Tune into a radio station that has traffic updates--am 710, 1000 or 1090 come to mind--to compare traffic on I-405 and I-5. 405 is an option, but it's longer and usually at least as bad, if not worse, than 5.

If traffic on southbound 5 in north Seattle is heavy and there is no sign of it letting up, you do have the option of jumping over to Hwy 99. Those of us that live in the western part of Seattle would typically use 99 to get to the airport. it's easy to get over to 99 (aka Aurora Ave) from the 105th and 85th exits off of 5. Once you are south of 72th, there are no more stoplights on Aurora. You'd then bear right onto Hwy 509 and follow the signs to Seatac. This could be a much faster way to Seatac IF there is traffic on 5 but none on southbound 99. And that's a big if. It can back up right before downtown during rush hour.

western WA
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5. Re: Vancouver BC to Seatac...best route??

I would take 405 given your time of likely arrival. When you get to Bellevue it can get bad if there is an accident, but that is not all that common. Check the DOT website. Good luck at the border! Leave earlier if you can.

6. Re: Vancouver BC to Seatac...best route??

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