Washington State’s first-ever high-occupancy-toll (HOT) lanes on State Route 167 will give drivers more choices and cut congestion in the Seattle area, Acting Federal Highway Administrator Jim Ray announced Friday, May 2. “Traffic jams don’t need to be a fact of life,” Ray said. “For a small price, HOT lanes give drivers more options to get home to their families and to work on time.”
Today, SR 167 experiences significant congestion during both the morning and evening peak periods. The road carries about 120,000 vehicles a day and runs parallel to Interstate 5 between Tacoma and Seattle. The four-year pilot project on lanes between Renton and Auburn in King County now will allow solo drivers to pay a toll to use the HOV lanes when there is space available. The price of the toll will rise and fall according to traffic levels. Electronic tolling will allow drivers to pay the toll without stopping.
Ray added that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s plan to tackle traffic congestion and freight bottlenecks promotes HOT lanes as one of the innovative measures to improve mobility for people and commerce. The Federal Highway Washington Administration provided $5.13 million for the project.