By Jena Williams

It isn’t an oxymoron.

The Washington State Department of Transportation has developed an unprecedented plan to reduce congestion and improve safety around chain up areas on I-90’s Snoqualmie Pass.

If you are a frequent cross-state traveler, you have probably seen the lane construction and new signage along westbound I-90, three miles east of Snoqualmie Pass.

The plan is to increase communication and get rid of the confusion over when and where to stop to chain up.

In addition to labeling the chain-up zones, which can be hard to decipher with a layer of snow over everything, there will also be information about room available ahead to chain up so drivers won’t be stopping in the traffic lanes out of fear they’ll run out of space to chain up.

Be aware, stops will be limited to 30 minutes, so don’t plan to park and sleep it out. Prepare in advance with these chaining guides:

Take time to check your chains: http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/safetymaterials/901272013.pdf

Tips for successful chaining: http://www.keeptruckingsafe.org/safetymaterials/90432009.pdf

Heading eastbound? Don’t despair! Eastbound traffic will see similar upgrades in upcoming years.

For more info from WA DOT: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter/chainup

Link to the Washington State Patrol’s MINIMUM CHAIN REQUIREMENTS for vehicles and combinations over 10,000 pounds GVWR: http://www.wsp.wa.gov/traveler/docs/cvd/chain_reqs.pdf.

Link to Washington State Commercial Vehicle Guide (page 1-2): http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/EE2D33C7-E6A0-4C58-9BD9-AE05C003B327/0/VehicleGuide.pdf