As part of the Moving Washington congestion relief plan, we automated the I-5 express lanes to reduce the amount of time it takes to switch the lanes between northbound and southbound.
It only takes about 15 minutes to switch the express lanes now. The extra 30 minutes gained from the automation improves mid-day traffic flow.
We also added 45 new cameras, signs, controllers, signals, data cabinets, highway advisory radio stations, dozens of miles of underground fiber lines and Ethernet connections.
Automating the I-5 express lanes frees up our signal teams to work on other priority projects.
Less congestion on mainline I-5 means fewer rear-end collisions.
The new cameras mean visual confirmation of collisions or disabled vehicles. This allows WSDOT Incident Response Teams and Washington State Patrol troopers to respond more quickly and clear problems.
The new brighter signs deter drivers from entering the express lanes in the wrong direction.
Drivers have three extra lanes of highway to use for an extra 30 minutes each day. This benefits an extra 900-1000 drivers each day. Buses will also take advantage of the smoother traffic flow.
Partnerships & Cooperation
The total cost: $6.6 million
Federal funds: $6.3 million
State gas tax funds: $200,000
Harmony Haveman Weinberg
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