Experts give thumbs-up to toll lanes between Lynnwood and Renton

The express toll lane concept on I-405

A proposed express toll lane system is a viable and appropriate strategy for improving mobility in the I-405 and SR 167 corridor, according to a new report by national tolling experts.

WSDOT is proposing to build a system that gives solo drivers the option to use carpool lanes on I-405 by paying an electronic toll, similar to the existing HOT lanes on SR 167. The toll rates are automatically adjusted based on congestion (the tolls are highest when traffic is the worst.)

“Based on this review, we will pursue legislative authorization to implement express toll lanes on I-405, which will enable us to continue fixing one of the most congested corridors in the state,” said Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond.

Among the findings, the panel recommended WSDOT move forward with building a new lane on I-405 between Lynnwood and Bellevue, and pair it with the existing HOV lane to build momentum for an express toll system. Construction is expected to begin in 2012 and be done in 2015.

Before the express toll lanes can be implemented, WSDOT still has to complete a more detailed traffic and revenue study to pay for future improvements.

The toll lanes on I-405 would tie in to the HOT lanes on SR 167 to create a 40-mile express toll lanes system.

  1. Good report Mike, thanks. At our non-partisan public information site, Public Data Ferret we’ve got a detailed synopsis of the expert panel report and a few useful graphics: https://bit.ly/eh77ha

    It’s also interesting that in the Expert Panel report, there is a strong emphasis on setting a higher bar for toll exemptions (transit and, they suggest, only vehicles with three or more passengers, not two, would get a free ride or discount, at peak hours). Also noteworthy was the discussion of the current funding gap for the entire mega-project, and how to address it, tolls and current appropriations alone not being enough.

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