The mystery of the closed Kirkland overpass and Thanksgiving travel tips

Nov 20, 2023, 12:00 PM | Updated: Nov 21, 2023, 9:31 am

Thanksgiving travel tips...

A United Airlines plane sits at a gate at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va., Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

I’m going to start Chokepoints today with a listener question I received during the show on Monday. Mike in Edmonds asked me about what he calls “the phantom” overpass of Interstate 405 at NE 100th Street in Kirkland. “Why is it there? For what use,” Mike asked.

I have always thought it was a pedestrian-only bridge. I have never seen any vehicles use it, but Mike told me there are gates at either end. I reached out to the City of Kirkland for a definitive answer.

More chokepoints: Final phase of SR 520 plan in jeopardy

The overpass not only serves as a way for pedestrians to cross the freeway, but it is also an emergency bypass for first responders. This allows emergency vehicles to cross the freeway without driving up to 116th Street or down to 85th Street. It’s not a mystery anymore, Mike.

And don’t forget, I answer listener questions like this all the time; it can be something small or something huge.

Thanksgiving travel tips

Let’s move on to Thanksgiving.

Here’s a quick list of my go-to’s as you head out for the holiday.

Starting with the airport, Spot-Saver is already full for most of Wednesday. This is a great reminder to hit that up three days before your flight to save time in the security line.

If you have family heading home over the weekend, be sure to secure your spot early.

If you pick up or drop off people at the airport, remember to “think opposite.” Use the terminal level opposite of what you are doing. Picking someone up? Use the departure deck up top. Dropping off? Use the bottom arrivals deck.

If you are trying to use the garage, drive to the far south end before heading up. That far end always fills up last.

And please, please, please, do not park on the side of the expressway while waiting to pick people up. It is a safety hazard, and it’s illegal. You better believe Port Police will be handing out $50 tickets for that this week.

@kirotraffic #Thanksgiving #Travel #KIRO #Seattle #FYP #Holidays @KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM ♬ original sound – KIRO Traffic

Taking a ferry?

You already know the system is being held together with positive vibes and duct tape. Only 14 boats are available, and the system needs 15 to run. That’s happening with 300,000 people expected to sail this weekend.

The Edmonds-Kingston run will only have one boat the entire time. Wait times are going to be ridiculous.


You know the deal. Leave early or leave late. If you’re not already on the road by midday Wednesday, you are going to be in for a rocky drive. Consider and early morning Thursday drive instead. Don’t come back on Sunday either. Plan late Saturday to avoid the worst travel times.

Patience, flexibility and understanding, which we all have in such great reserve during the holidays, is what we all need to get through this together.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints.


Image: The Easy Fire burns in the North Cascades on Thursday, July 18, 2024....

Bill Kaczaraba

North Cascades Highway near Diablo Lake reopens after wildfire caused closure

A wildfire has forced the closure of State Route 20/the North Cascades Highway west between mileposts 148 and 158.

2 days ago

Image: Red and white reflective stripes are being added to Washington State Department of Transport...

Chris Sullivan

Going green isn’t what you think when it comes to WSDOT safety

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is tired of people plowing into trucks and is taking a green approach.

2 days ago

Photo: Traffic on I-5....

Micki Gamez

Prepare for traffic: Sound Transit to close lane of I-5 south

Washington has two seasons: winter and construction. Sound Transit is going to close one lane on I-5 south.

2 days ago

ballard closures...

Chris Sullivan

Sullivan: Closures are clogging Ballard, and will be for next two months

Getting through Ballard along 15th Avenue Northwest can be hard enough as it is, and that was before the closures.

4 days ago

I-405 multi-car collision...

Frank Sumrall

Multiple lanes on I-405 North closed near Bellevue due to multi-car collision

Multiple lanes on Interstate 405 (I-405) heading north are closed near Coal Creek Parkway after a multi-car collision.

4 days ago

Photo: The Washington State Patrol is cracking down on people who cut in ferry lines....

James Lynch

Don’t be that person: State troopers fine ferry line cutters $145

Have you ever been frustrated by a driver who cut in line at a ferry terminal? Now the Washington State Patrol is cracking down.

5 days ago

The mystery of the closed Kirkland overpass and Thanksgiving travel tips