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WSDOT: Drivers won’t know of Clinton-related road closures until they happen

Hillary Clinton is on her way to Washington where she will discuss her plans to "break down barriers" ahead of the state's caucus. Her visit could shut down roadways, but the Washington State Department of Transportation says that is up to the Secret Service. (AP)

Hillary Clinton is on her way to Washington where she will discuss her plans to “break down barriers” ahead of the state’s caucus on March 26.

Clinton is scheduled to arrive Tuesday.

Related: Bernie Sanders supporters not giving up hope ahead of Washington caucuses

Clinton’s visit follows a huge rally by her opponent, Bernie Sanders, in Seattle. There are 118 Democratic delegates at stake in Washington, with 101 to be awarded proportionally based on the results of the caucuses. The remaining 17 are technically unpledged party and elected leaders, though a majority of them – including Gov. Jay Inslee and the state’s Congressional delegation – have already said they support Clinton.

The Seattle Department of Transportation told drivers to prepare for traffic affected by Clinton’s fundraising Tuesday.

The Washington State Department of Transportation doesn’t expect the Clinton visit to cause a full freeway closure, unlike Vice President Joe Biden’s visit on Monday. However, WSDOT spokesperson Justin Fujioka says we won’t know until Clinton is mobile.

“It’s up to the security service to determine the route and whether or not road closures are necessary,” he explained. “Different dignitaries require different closures.”

So it could be anything from the Irish President’s visit last October, which had no impact on the public, to the China’s President visit last summer, which destroyed the entire Puget Sound drive.

Clinton begins her trip at the Boeing Machinists Hall in Everett in early afternoon. She travels south to Puyallup to meet with Native American tribal leaders. A Medina fundraiser is next, followed by a visit to Rainier Beach High School.

“The best thing we can tell drivers is stay engaged; be prepared,” Fujioka said.

And Fujioka says knowing the basic itinerary should help.

“That’s the best drivers and commuters can do,” he said.

And we won’t get a heads up on what, if any, roads will be closed for this visit. A good rule of thumb is if traffic cameras go dark, that’s a good indication a road is about to be shut down.

About the Author

Kipp Robertson

Kipp joined the team in February 2015. He's worked as a reporter in the greater Seattle area since graduating from Western Washington University in 2010.


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