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Commercial stalls traffic at Deception Pass

Motorists endured minutes-long waits at Deception Pass late Monday morning to make room for a car commercial that was being filmed on the historic bridge.

Film crews and state troopers closed down Highway 20 around the state park to allow a procession of flashy, silver-colored Chevrolets with black windows to zoom over the bridge while cameras filmed in front of the procession. A helicopter was also hovering above the bridge during filming.

Dave Chesson, spokesman for the Washington State Department of Transportation, said the film production company received a permit which allowed for five-minute closures over a two-hour time period Monday morning. That allowed crews time to film the cars driving over the bridge. Once that five-minute time period elapsed, the highway was reopened to allow the traffic to clear.

Chesson said the filming did go over the schedule. When that happened, organizers called the Department of Transportation to ask for enough time for one more sweep, which was granted.

He said there wasn't a fee attached to the commercials and compared the closure to the permit that allows a closure of the bridge during the Whidbey Island Marathon that takes place in the spring.

There were several state troopers on scene during the filming of the commercial to help with the traffic closures. However, those troopers were off duty and their salaries were paid by the production company.

During the closures, traffic was backed up at least to Lam's Links on Whidbey Island and to Pass Lake and Rosario Road on Fidalgo Island.

The film crew also ventured to Seattle Sunday to film on Highway 99 in for several hours.

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