WSDOT hopes for faster commutes as new toll lanes open up

KING COUNTY- Drivers can bypass traffic jams on I-405 with the opening of the Express Toll Lanes in between Lynnwood and Bellevue. The new designated lanes opened over the weekend.

”It’s going to be really good for drivers on 405 to be able to take advantage of these lanes and get an opportunity to buy their way out of congestion,” said WSDOT Director of Toll Operations Patty Rubstello.

Electronic signs post the toll rates which adjust according to traffic congestion. Rates range from $.75 to $10, but WSDOT says the average rate will be in between $1 and $4.

Rubstello said the first few months could lead to confusion and some backups as drivers learn to use the new lanes.

There are designated areas where drivers can get in and out of the express lanes. WSDOT warns anyone who doesn’t enter the lanes at the designated access points could face a $136 for crossing the double white lines.

“What we want to do is just give warnings and information brochures about how the new lanes operate,” said Chris Webb with Washington State Patrol. “But, if we find that somebody is being fraudulent and they act out here then they will likely get a citation.”

Carpools with the designated number of passengers can use the express lanes for free, but during rush hour there must be at least 3 people inside the vehicle. WSDOT says carpools must also have a Good To Go! account and their Flex Pass to travel for free. The flex pass must also be set to HOV mode

WSDOT says the revenue from the tolls will be used to maintain and operate I-405 express toll lanes with additional revenue going towards future I-405/SR 167 corridor improvements.

For more information visit the WSDOT website.