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I-405 Express Toll Lanes Renton to Bellevue Project

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stevashe:
This project may not be quite as big and flashy as some of the other large projects in the Seattle area, but I think it deserves its own thread, especially now that construction has begun throughout the length of the project.

Anyway, this project is adding an additional lane to I-405 in both directions between SR 167 in Renton and NE 6th St in Bellevue. This new lane will combine with the existing HOV lane to provide two express toll lanes in each direction, similar to the existing segment between NE 6th St and SR 522. The main difference here is that there are only 2 lanes available to general purpose traffic instead of three. I found a nice graphic summarizing the changes while digging around in the RFP for the project. It shows that there are also auxiliary lanes being added in the southbound direction between I-90 and 112th Ave SE, as well as between NE 44th St and NE 30th St (shown in green), which I was not aware of before. Having an extra lane from I-90 to 112th is an especially welcome improvement given the giant weaving mess created by the current configuration where two lanes enter from I-90 then immediately exit at Coal Creek Pkwy. This also compliments an auxiliary lane already added in the northbound direction in the same area in 2008-2009.



Work currently being done is mostly clearing and some preliminary grading, mostly near the 30th, 44th, and I-90 Interchanges. The most significant work is probably at the 44th interchange, which will feature a direct ramp to the express lanes and not one, not two, but THREE roundabouts! I guess those circular intersections are here to stay in Western Washington. The visualization of the completed interchange is shown below.



Project completion is expected in 2024, though if that includes testing for the tolling system, I suspect actual construction will be done earlier.

What are everyone's thoughts on this? I'm really looking forward to the express lanes extending all the way to Renton instead of ending in Bellevue like they do now.

vdeane:
Are they HOT lanes or just regular toll lanes?  I can't imagine that HOV traffic would be happy with losing their lane if they're just regular toll lanes.

TEG24601:

--- Quote from: vdeane on June 07, 2021, 01:11:50 PM ---Are they HOT lanes or just regular toll lanes?  I can't imagine that HOV traffic would be happy with losing their lane if they're just regular toll lanes.

--- End quote ---


If you have the number of persons in the vehicle that are designated for that period, and your transponder is blocked, the travel is free in the HOT lanes.  If the transponder isn't blocked or you don't have enough persons, then it is tolled.

stevashe:

--- Quote from: vdeane on June 07, 2021, 01:11:50 PM ---Are they HOT lanes or just regular toll lanes?  I can't imagine that HOV traffic would be happy with losing their lane if they're just regular toll lanes.

--- End quote ---

I assume they will have the same operation as the current Express Toll Lanes (which also replaced a standard HOV 2+ lane), which are free to HOV 3+ during peak commute, but then only require HOV 2+ to ride free in the middle of the day (9am-3pm). And yes, you do need a transponder set to HOV mode to get the free ride, if you don't have a transponder you'll be billed by the pay by plate system, regardless of the number of occupants.

The current HOV lane is very over utilized so it's barely faster right now anyway, so they wouldn't be losing much, anyway.

ErmineNotyours:

--- Quote from: stevashe on June 06, 2021, 11:47:32 PM ---The most significant work is probably at the 44th interchange, which will feature a direct ramp to the express lanes and not one, not two, but THREE roundabouts! I guess those circular intersections are here to stay in Western Washington.

--- End quote ---

Four roundabouts.  There's one more in the background.

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