Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Traffic change coming soon to southbound I-405 near SR 167 interchange

By Victoria Miller

Heads up, southbound Interstate 405 travelers near downtown Renton: Your driving experience will be a little different starting next week, especially if you rely on the ramp to southbound State Route 167.

As early as Saturday, May 20, we'll be making a long-term change to the way drivers access the off-ramps from southbound I-405 to Rainier Avenue South (Exit 2B) and southbound SR 167 (Exit 2A).

Right now, these two streams of traffic are separated by a barrier and travel in two parallel ramps. The far right lane takes travelers to Rainier Avenue South, and the second lane from the right takes travelers to southbound SR 167.
Drivers in Renton will find a new configuration off the off-ramp from
I-405 to Rainier Avenue South and SR 167 as early as this weekend.

Heading to southbound SR 167? Keep right
Under our new configuration, we'll combine those two exit lanes into a single lane. That means if you're traveling from southbound I-405 to southbound SR 167, you'll need to make sure you follow the new signs and get in the far right lane.

But rest assured, you'll still be able to get to both exits, as the lane will allow exits to both destinations. The barrier separating the two exit lanes will include an opening for those who wish to take Exit 2A.
The new lane configuration on the I-405 exit in Renton means drivers who want to
access Rainier Avenue South should stay right, and go left to get to SR 167.

Will this change affect traffic?
After we built an off-ramp to Talbot Road South several years ago, the volume of traffic using the Rainier Avenue South ramp dropped to around 200 to 300 vehicles per hour. We don't expect major backups as a result of this change, but there may be some minor slowdowns in the area as drivers adjust to the new configuration.

Why is this change happening?
Combining these two ramps while still allowing access to both exits will help crews move forward with the I-405/SR 167 Interchange Direct Connector project, which started construction last fall. We're in the process of building a new flyover ramp connecting the I-405 carpool lanes to the SR 167 high-occupancy toll lanes. Once open, the new flyover ramp will provide HOV drivers and transit a new option for traveling between I-405 and SR 167 while taking some pressure off the general-purpose ramps. We expect to open the flyover ramp to traffic in 2019.

You have probably already noticed that traffic has shifted lanes on northbound I-405 in the same area. This second traffic shift is to create a work zone to prepare for building the new flyover ramp in the center of I-405.

How long will this traffic shift be in place?
This change will be in place for at least several months as crews continue construction work for the Direct Connector.

This work is weather dependent so for the latest construction closure information, please visit our I-405 Construction Updates page and our King County Construction Updates page.


Jeff Lykken said...

We have been waiting for improvements to I405 from Renton to Bellevue for years. In 2001 they came up with a great plan to solve one of the worst congested freeways in the United States. The original Master Plan of 2001 which would have added 2 general purpose lanes in each direction, and would make a huge difference in regards to traffic congestion. This plan involved the general public, representatives and businesses in the area. This is not the case in regards to the extortion toll lanes which were forced on the public with deception, propaganda and lies. I can't believe that WSDOT thinks that we are going to let them try and force the failed extortion toll lane on our section of freeway. Adding an extortion toll lane Without doing NOTHING for general purpose traffic will cause a traffic catastrophe. Leaving I405 with only 2 general purpose lanes is wrong and just plain stupid. We are not going to let this happen as we are going to make sure that the new lane is built and it WILL BE A GENERAL PURPOSE LANE. Thank you Dino Rossi and Mark Harmsworth for doing what is right and helping with this fight and we will do away with the biggest mistakes in transportation history; the extortion toll lane on I405. If this failed project gets through, my Kennydale neighborhood will suffer with thousands of cars diverting from I405, but WSDOT does not care. No Toll on I405!!

Jondroot said...

I405 tolls should be criminal. Use common sense WSDOT, we needed general purpose Lanes in each direction 20 years ago!

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