Apple Maps redirects drivers from I-90 to a dirt road
Apple Maps is redirecting drivers heading east on Interstate 90 toward Snoqualmie Pass on a dirt road, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The problem started about a month ago, when WSDOT began work on a planned construction project, and led to some drivers getting stuck and needing a tow truck.
WSDOT spokesperson Summer Derrey said the department sent multiple emails to Apple to change the route, but received no response.
“This is becoming a huge security issue,” the department wrote in its final Nov. 2 email.
In early October, WSDOT moved to the next phase of its ongoing project to widen I-90 from four lanes to six lanes between Hyak and Easton. To accomplish this, contractor crews moved eastbound traffic to the west side of the highway between mileposts 68 and 70.
The change, which maintains two lanes of traffic in both directions, will be in place for the next few years, the WSDOT said in its October announcement.
Since then, mapping and GPS services have begun redirecting drivers away from that stretch of the highway and onto dirt roads and Forest Service roads, Derrey said in an interview. Mapping services sought to “compensate” drivers but ended up offering a “route that is not viable”.
The department contacted Apple and Google Maps to inform them of the issue and change its directions, but neither company responded.
Looking at directions on his phone on Thursday, Derrey said it looked like Google had fixed the problem. Apple hadn’t.
“Mapping services are not easy to get,” she said.
With construction work and lane changes that could take up to five years, Derrey said: “We recognize there is a problem. We sent them an email.