I-405 Express Toll Lanes - Why Express Toll Lanes

 Why Rates Change

Watch a short video about why rates change.

The I-405 HOV lanes were often as congested as the general purpose lanes, failing to reduce traffic congestion. With King County's population expected to increase 33 percent by 2040, simply adding more general purpose lanes would not meet long-term demand. The I-405 express toll lanes give you an option to pay a toll for a more reliable trip.

How will express toll lanes help improve regular lane speeds?
When you choose to use express toll lanes, space frees up in the general purpose lanes and improves speeds for the general purpose lanes, too. The result is a corridor that moves more vehicles and people more efficiently. Experience the express toll lanes in action by watching this video.

What's the difference between express toll lanes and bridge tolls?
SR 520 and Tacoma Narrows bridge tolls go toward paying for bridge construction. I-405 express toll lanes help manage traffic on the corridor.

Why express toll lanes?
The I-405/SR 167 Executive Advisory Group has been advising us on I-405 Corridor improvements since 1999. In 2009 the Washington State Legislature directed WSDOT to study the merit of express toll lanes on I-405 and re-engage the I-405/SR 167 Executive Advisory Group. This work resulted in the 2009 Eastside Corridor Tolling Study which evaluated 5 options to implement express toll lane on I-405. The I-405/SR 167 Executive Advisory Group endorsed option four which included a 40-mile express toll lane system from Puyallup to Lynnwood.

In 2010, the Legislature directed WSDOT to convene a National Expert Review Panel to evaluate the findings of the 2009 Eastside Corridor Tolling Study. The Expert Review Panel reported out their findings to the I-405/SR 167 Executive Advisory Group. This work resulted in the publishing of the I-405/SR 167 Expert Review Panel Report.

In 2011, the Washington State Legislature authorized express toll lanes on I-405 between Bellevue and Lynnwood.

The project began construction in 2012.

What did WSDOT change?
The project added capacity and repurposed the merge and weave lane between NE 85th Street and NE 124th Street (Kirkland Nickel Stage 1 project) to make it a general purpose through lane. This allowed us to create a dual express toll lane system from downtown Bellevue to Bothell/Woodinville. Additionally, the existing carpool lane from SR 522 to I-5 was converted to a single express toll lane.

To further enhance traffic operations in the Bothell area, crews built a northbound "braided" ramp system between the NE 160th Street and SR 522 interchanges. These ramps separate the NE 160th Street to I-405 northbound traffic and the I-405 to SR 522 traffic to provide more efficient access to I-405 and SR 522.

How are the express toll lanes performing so far?
Take a look at the most recent traffic data for the express toll lanes.