I-405 Widening Ready to Launch Outside Seattle
Mike Lindblom reports on an impending highway widening project along 11 miles of Interstate 405 to the east of Seattle, connecting King County cities like Renton, Bellevue, and Woodinville.
The $1.2 billion project will use funding from a gas-tax increase implemented in 2003. "But if commuters hope to drive faster, they’ll need to pay again — because most of the new highway space will be express toll lanes," according to Lindblom. "The design adds one express toll lane and converts the free carpool lane to express tolls, alongside the existing two or three general lanes each way between Renton and Bellevue."
Lindblom also notes that several interchanges will be improved to alleviate logjams.
The new space on the highway will also be devoted to transit. "Sound Transit will create an 11-stop bus-rapid transit (BRT) network from Lynnwood to Burien, spending roughly $1 billion for passenger stations, highway ramps, buses and park-and-ride garages," according to Lindblom.
The article includes more details about the project, the expected impact of the changes on commuters in the region, and the politics of highway spending and tolling.