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I-405 Express Toll Lanes Renton to Bellevue Project

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--- Quote from: stevashe on June 06, 2021, 11:47:32 PM ---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.

--- End quote ---
Being from Kirkland in my distant past, my biggest concern with the whole 405 project is what is planned at the SR 522 interchange with 405. Three stoplights will be added onto 522 which is currently a system interchange. I submitted a design that would preserve the interchange as well as adding a direct HOV access for N-E and W-S as well as adding a new E-W arterial at approximately NE 185th St which access is currently severed by the two freeways that would take care of the Direct access ramps.

I-405 had two full weekend shutdowns recently to prepare for one major part of this project: raising I-405 above the existing NE 44th Street overpass to form a new interchange:

The final configuration:

The State Transportation Commission is weighing the new toll rates for the expanded I-405/SR 167 HOT Lane system. Maximum rate of $15 to $18 with extended peak hours, plus one option to add weekend tolls for non-HOVs.

Plutonic Panda:
This thing is only gonna have two lanes each way for general purpose lanes? That’s pretty lame. But hell I’ll take that over Colorado’s 2-3 general purpose lanes each way and one tolled lane.


--- Quote from: Plutonic Panda on October 20, 2023, 11:34:24 PM ---This thing is only gonna have two lanes each way for general purpose lanes? That’s pretty lame. But hell I’ll take that over Colorado’s 2-3 general purpose lanes each way and one tolled lane.

--- End quote ---

I think one of the big gains with this project, besides the dual express lane system, is the rebuilt interchanges and auxiliary lanes being built throughout the project.

Unfortunately, the worst part of 405 south of Bellevue, Kennydale Hill, will not be touched, as the only way to really resolve that would be a tunnel. I don't know if truck climbing lanes are part of the project, but they should be if they're not. Kennydale used to be my old exit, and it was always a gamble when to get over for the exit with all the trucks slogging up the hill in the right lane. Though I guess it's hard to fix that, unless the truck climbing lane is the middle. Similar issue here up the 512 hill in Puyallup.


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