Toll road report released

January 21, 2014 by  

A report released by our state’s Department of Transportation details a long-term toll lane plan on a local interstate affecting Bellevue residents and businesses.

The report, titled I-405/SR 167 Corridor Funding and Phasing, was presented to the state legislature and governor last Friday, January 17. The report was compiled with the help of an advisory group of local elected representatives, who met with state officials on four occasions last year.

The project will involve a $334m conversion of existing carpool lanes that will transform them into “HOT” or toll lanes. The work on the paving and barriers necessary to start the project has already begun and the work on the I-405 toll lanes between Lynnwood to Bellevue is expected to be complete in 2015. Once completed, drivers will be faced with three options concerning where they are going as they approach the express toll lanes.

Recommendations in the report include permitting carpools of three or more to ride free, as well as allowing two-occupant carpools free access in off-peak hours. Travel will be free in all lanes for buses and registered van pools. Although rates have yet to be decided upon, one suggestion is a minimum toll of 50¢ increasing to 75¢ by 2018. Tolls will be dependent on distance and the density of traffic during travel. The toll will be charged electronically.

Road changes can be disruptive to both individuals and businesses, which is why it is common for Department of Transportation officials to contract with brochure printers to educate the public and business community about future road changes.