Thursday, May 19, 2016

SR 167 HOT lanes get an update

By Laura Johnson

In the month that we celebrate the eight-year anniversary of the State Route 167 High Occupancy Toll Lanes Pilot Program, we will be replacing some of the toll equipment that has reliably served its purpose since 2008.

The SR 167 HOT Lanes were originally a four-year pilot program that the Legislature has extended multiple times. The project is managing congestion and allowing solo drivers with a Good To Go! pass to buy into the lanes for a more reliable trip, while also maintaining reliability in the corridor for people in carpools, vanpools, and buses.

In addition to planned replacements for older toll equipment, we will be replacing the SR 167 HOT lanes system server so that it can be better integrated with the system on the I-405 express toll lanes.  This will have no effect on the I-405 express toll lanes, but will allow us to better integrate these two systems in the future.

Drivers may see messages like this this weekend as we upgrade our SR 167 tolling equipment.

The new system was just commissioned last year, so the technology is light years ahead of the 2008 technology. It will keep the toll rate signs from going blank, as they have been doing intermittently for the past few months. It will also allow us to better match toll rates to traffic conditions, easing an uptick in congestion that drivers have experienced recently.

To make these changes, you'll see some activity out on SR 167 between Renton and Auburn this weekend. Friday night, southbound SR 167 will be reduced to one lane by midnight, with all lanes reopening by 7 a.m. Saturday. On Saturday and Sunday nights, northbound travel will go down to one lane by 11 p.m., with all lanes reopening by 8 a.m. on Sunday and 5 a.m. on Monday.

During the Friday night closures you might see test messages and toll rates on the signs going southbound – that's just our engineers testing the signs. Of course this won't affect any drivers because the toll lane will be closed. As always, you can check for closure updates on our King County Construction Updates page.

Thanks to all the overnight drivers for your patience while we work to make these changes.

3 comments:

Jeff Gray said...

Translation: W$DOT is working on new and improved ways of extorting even more money from drivers using roads their tax dollars already paid for.

Brian Bundridge said...

Got to drive in the new HOV lane a few days ago between 15th and Hwy 18. Really nice but the pavement needs to be redone south of 18, especially for motorcycle riders. Not safe at all right now.

WSDOT said...

Brian, we'll be repaving southbound SR 167 from 15th St. SW to 9th St. East in Pacific beginning this fall.