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New Express Toll Lanes Coming to I-405—Will You Pay to Zip Through Traffic?

Construction has already begun on a stretch of new toll lanes between Lynnwood and Bellevue, expected to open in 2015.

Some key changes are in the works to help traffic flow more freely on I-405—one of the state's most congested freeways.

Construction is already underway on new express toll lanes between Lynnwood and NE 6th Street in downtown Bellevue. Similar to the High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on State Route 167, I-405's express lanes will be open to solo drivers who pay an electronic toll to use the special lanes.

Would you pay to avoid sitting in traffic on I-405? How much? Tell us in the comments section.

The $334-million first phase is expected to open in 2015, with WSDOT planning to eventually expand the lanes to cover the entire 40-mile I-405/SR 167 corridor.

But the amount of the tolls—and whether the lanes will be free for vehicles with two or more occupants—is still up for debate. As KING 5 reported, WSDOT might increase the number of passengers needed to travel in carpool lanes on I-405, or begin charging vehicles with more than one occupant.

“We are looking at whether we continue to let people in the two-plus carpool be in the lane for free, or do we actually need start charging them because there are so many two-plus carpoolers, so that's something that we'll be talking about and evaluating," Patty Rubstello of WSDOT’s Toll Division told KING 5.

These questions are the focus of a new advisory group, made up of 30 local elected officials, that held its first meeting Thursday. (Click here to see meeting presentation.) The committee must also determine how to pay for the full implementation of the express lanes and deliver a plan of action to the governor and state legislature by June 2013.

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Related:

Are Carpool Lane Violators on I-405 a Problem?

Express Toll Lanes a Possiblity on Interstate 405

shiggity wiggity January 24, 2013 at 10:48 PM
I'd pay. I don't know how much, it would depend on the circumstance since I don't go that way every day.
Troy Kasper January 25, 2013 at 04:24 PM
They should also toll 522 to get the people avoiding 520.
Susan Milke January 25, 2013 at 05:52 PM
How did we pay for all our roads/bridges etc. for the past 50 years!? They are just building to justify their own existence and make lots of money for themselves. People wake up. Soon you will not be able to drive your car one mile to the grocery store without being charged. I have an electric car. They will charge me $100 because I don't buy gas, but that is more than the gas I would have bought in a year in my Prius! I am being penalized. And I am buying more electricity too. I will be writing a letter to everyone! And my last question..has our traffic situation gotten better or worse in the last few years?
Sheri Gazitt January 25, 2013 at 06:17 PM
There are now talks of transponders on every WA car. Citizens would be taxed for every mile they drive. apparently this is needed because of the revenue lost from fuel efficient cars. Crazy logic.
Susan Milke January 25, 2013 at 06:35 PM
The worst part is that they can spy on us everywhere. I vote no.
Ernest Cordova January 25, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Thanks for leaving my post up, but I see you edited it to keep your liberal agenda. That is fine excuse me for thinking your column is not biased. But I am sure you are just doing what the rest of the liberal media is doing to this country. Sincerely, Ernest Cordova P.S. I will not post on this site again.. Thanks.
John Sheridan January 25, 2013 at 07:25 PM
We realize State transportation revenue might be lower than dreamed of, but welcome to the real world, where all of us have had to roll up our sleeves and streamline our budgets. It is time our elected officials stop using transportation dollars for other pet projects. And we need more competition for road projects with incentives for meeting deadlines. I do worry that we are copying the east coast for tolls. In NJ the gov. promised tolls would be temporary and just pay for roads. Nope, they got addicted to the $ revenue and steadily increased toll rates and even paid toll collectors more than most teachers. If the public can be included in the process you would probably find that enough people would support limited tolls for express lanes, as long as it was a $ buck or less. And any increases should be dependent on a public vote. As for gov. ideas floating around to tax us on miles driven and penalize people who drive fuel efficient cars, it is simply wrong to do so. And we must let our voices be heard, because the gov. must serve the public, not the other way around. We can work together if their is respect top down.
Jeanne Gustafson January 25, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Can you explain, Ernest? Is the post you're referencing an article comment? I saw you commented on a different article, but though Patch Editors can remove offensive comments, we cannot edit the text of a comment attached to an article.
Susan Milke January 25, 2013 at 07:56 PM
John, I do want to write a letter to the correct person voicing my opinion on this matter (especially regarding taxing the electric car $100 a year in addition to the current registration). Who would you suggest would be the best person to write this letter to? Governor, my representative, DOL or all of the above? Thanks.
John Sheridan January 25, 2013 at 08:05 PM
@ Susan, I would write a sincere heart-felt and logical letter to your Congressional representative. In greater Bellevue and Issaquah it is Congressman Dave Reichert. But I would let as many elected officials know that you do not support penalizing those who help our air quality by driving a fuel efficient vehicle, especially since nearly all politicians proclaim their support of green energy and getting us off oil as much as possible. All the best.
Susan Milke January 25, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Thank you John. I will. And I agree. Buying an electric car is not cheap! And we shouldn't be penalized for it :)
Venice Buhain January 25, 2013 at 08:25 PM
John, FYI, Congressman Reichert (R-WA8) no longer represents Bellevue after last year's redistricting. Bellevue is now represented by Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA9).
Paul R B. January 25, 2013 at 08:56 PM
@Susan, the tolling and vehicle fees are being decided and implemented at the state level. Send your letter your local legislators. Congress is not involved and has little authority over this.
Susan Milke January 25, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Paul RB, Got it. I will find out who that is. Thanks. The more and more I think about it the more it seems unfair as I will end up paying more for the electric car, the electricity and the gas tax!
Susan Milke January 28, 2013 at 10:52 PM
Paul RB, Just got a letter off regarding taxing the electric car. Sent it to Larry Springer, Roger Goodman, Andy Hill and the Seattle Times. Thank you!

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