Washington opens I-405 express toll lanes

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) opened 17 miles of express toll lanes on Interstate 405 between Bellevue and Lynnwood on Sunday, marking a notable day for commuters given new options.

“Today is an important day for the people making nearly half a million trips a day up and down I-405 who now have a choice for a faster, more reliable trip in the new express toll lanes,” state Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson said. “The delivery of this innovative project marks the culmination of more than a decade of evaluation, planning, partnerships and public engagement to bring more efficiency and reliability to the corridor.”

Beginning this week, WSDOT urges drivers to keep an eye out for changing patterns on the route. Although express toll lane volumes are expected to be low at first, the department predicts that over time increased usage may add congestion during peak hours.

Major changes requiring added alertness include new carpool rules, account and pass settings adjustments, and modified lane markings for express toll lane entry and exit points--whereby new double white lines will direct drivers to change lanes only at access points marked by dashed white lines.

I-405 express toll lanes will let drivers pay tolls more efficiently between Bellevue and Lynnwood. Rates set by the State Transportation Commission will be adjusted periodically; transit, vanpools, motorcycles with passes and qualifying carpools with a Flex Pass can travel for free in these lanes.

“We expect a period of adjustment—maybe six months, maybe a year—as I-405 drivers learn how to use the new system,” Assistant Transportation Secretary Craig Stone said. “Once drivers get comfortable, this system will move more people, more efficiently in both the express toll lanes and the regular lanes.”

To learn more about I-405 express toll lanes, view an interactive map of the system or obtain pass accounts, drivers are encouraged to visit GoodToGo405.org.

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State of Washington Department of Transportation

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