Findings submitted to Governor’s office include funding solutions, carpool rules
BELLEVUE – A new report provides a blueprint for speeding up travel along the Interstate 405 and State Route 167 corridors.
The I-405/SR 167 Corridor Funding and Phasing Report, submitted by the Washington State Department of Transportation to the Legislature and the Governor Friday, Jan. 17, focuses on a two-phase approach for building express toll lanes on this 40-mile stretch of roadway, where commuters experience some of the state’s worst congestion, even in the carpool lanes.
“Express toll lanes are a crucial tool for dealing with our overloaded carpool lanes that can potentially fund other improvements along the corridor,” said Kim Henry, I-405/SR 167 program director. “The findings in this report will help us to move forward with these important projects.”
The first I-405 express toll lanes are scheduled to open in 2015 between Bellevue and Lynnwood. The second phase would extend the express toll lanes on I-405 between Renton and Bellevue, connecting them to the SR 167 HOT lanes.
The Legislature required a funding and phasing plan when it approved the I-405 express toll lanes in 2011. This report comes after several years of study and collaboration with an advisory group of local elected officials and regional transportation agencies representing communities along the I-405/SR 167 corridor. WSDOT held four meetings with this advisory group last year. Together, they reached consensus in two major areas:
Similar to SR 167 HOT lanes, the I-405 express toll lanes will offer drivers the option of paying a toll for a more reliable trip. Because toll rates vary based on congestion levels, WSDOT can more closely manage demand for the express toll lanes, improving traffic flow along the entire roadway. Transit and registered vanpools will travel toll-free in the lanes.
The full report—along with previous studies that contributed to it—is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/tolling/eastsidecorridor/report.