There are signs everywhere — figuratively and literally — of the new Interstate 405 express toll lanes between Bellevue and Lynnwood.
Starting this week, WSDOT began testing the two new electronic toll-rate signs along the highway.
“After more than a decade of planning and discussion, it’s exciting to see the latest milestone in our work to launch new lanes that will help ease traffic on one of the state’s most congested corridors,” said Craig Stone, WSDOT Toll Division assistant secretary. “These signs will display the toll rate, which will automatically adjust to keep traffic moving at least 45 miles per hour in the express toll lane.”
Drivers may see words or symbols light up the screens while the signs are tested. No tolls will be charged during testing, which will continue through the summer.
I-405 express toll lanes: an overview
WSDOT is building a new lane adjacent to the carpool lane between Northeast 6th Street in Bellevue and State Route 522 in Bothell to create a dual, express-toll-lane system and converting the existing carpool lane between Bothell and Lynnwood into a single, express toll lane. When the project is complete in 2015, drivers will have the option to use a 17-mile system of express toll lanes from Bellevue to Lynnwood. Transit, vanpools and carpools meeting the occupancy requirement will be able to use the lanes toll-free with the new Good To Go! Flex Pass. The Flex Pass will be available later this spring.
Opportunities for public input
The Washington State Transportation Commission is currently conducting its public process to make decisions on minimum and maximum toll rates and carpool exemptions for the express toll lanes. The commission’s proposal includes changing the minimum carpool requirement in the express toll lanes from two to three people during peak hours in order to keep the lanes moving at 45 miles per hour or faster at all times.