State gets environmental OK for second I-405 toll lane – Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington 2021-08-24 11:35:00 –

The state has cleared a final environmental review to build separate toll lanes in each direction on I-405 between King County and Snohomish County.

At the same time, Sound Transit is organizing planned changes and delays to 37 miles. Bus rapid transit system system 8 Mile Line on the Highway and Highway 522.

The Federal Highway Authority released findings in July that it would have no significant impact. $ 600 million business..

“That doesn’t mean there’s no impact,” said Rob Weck, deputy program manager for the Washington State Department of Transportation. “It means that there is no mitigation or insignificant impact.”

The approximately five-mile highway extension from Highway 522 to Highway 527 was scheduled to open in 2025, but was postponed for two years due to pandemics and high costs, according to Washington State Department of Transportation staff.

According to the construction of a new lane, it is necessary to combine re-striping the I-405 in one section and unfolding it in the rest. WSDOT document.. Two in-line transit stations will be built on the median strip of the highway, and a new station will be built on the Highway 522 interchange.

The state plans to add traffic lights to the three intersections of I-405 northbound along highway 522, I-405 southbound to highway 522 eastward, and a new direct access ramp to the toll road.

Once constructed, additional toll roads give people another option to drive out of the general lane, allowing high-speed transportation of future Sound Transit stride buses to move faster. We will also build a direct access ramp from highway 522 to the highway toll road and a partial direct access ramp at the reconstructed highway 527 interchange.

Limited express A toll road was opened on I-405 Between Bellevue and Lynnwood in 2015. Currently, there are two toll roads on most sections, but there is one toll road on the highway 522 north of the interchange.

State toll roads are free for vehicles with at least two passengers and a Good to Go transponder, except Monday to Friday from 5 am to 9 am and 3 pm to 7 pm. The lane is open to all drivers after 7 pm on weekdays and during all weekends and public holidays.

Tolls have brought more than $ 66 million since 2015 Improvement I-405..

From July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020, toll revenue totaled $ 24.8 million, according to WSDOT’s finances. Quarterly report..That money fell to This year According to the report, it was about $ 7.1 million, mainly due to a decrease in traffic during the pandemic. WSDOT Report..

Toll lane expansion supporters and state officials have advertised that they will ease highway congestion. State data shows An average of 106,000 units a day.

“The way to move more people through the system more effectively is what’s happening here,” said Lisa Hodgson, WSD OTI-405 and Highway 167 Program Administrator.

But road expansion Is generally criticized This is in contrast to the climate change goals of reducing vehicle emissions that bring greenhouse gases to global warming.

“It’s time for Washington to stop the cold turkey that spreads the freeway, rather than continue to feed the addiction, while talking about calm about climate and road safety,” said the Urbanist Editorial Board. Written in March.. “… Adding lanes and interchanges is clearly an extension of the highway infrastructure, even if dressed up in toll lanes or carpool lanes.”

However, Hodgson and Weck defended the expansion of I-405, saying it met the state’s climate change goals. They said they would improve vehicle movement by reducing stop-and-go traffic, improving fuel economy and reducing emissions. Bus Rapid Transit can also replace some vehicle trips.

They also stated that toll roads were effective in transporting traffic and found the latter faster, based on WSDOT’s research on travel time and volume of I-5 and I-405.

“Reducing congestion and increasing traffic speeds basically improves fuel economy and emissions,” says Woeck. “It’s really heading in the direction our entire state and country want.”

Also, improving transit reliability on extended toll roads can help reduce vehicle trips.

Sound Transit plans to transport stride buses to I-405 between Burien and Lynnwood and to Highway 522 between Bothell and Shoreline as part of its 2016 voter-approved tax system.The first timeline is Service to start 2024, But of the Sound Transit board Reorganization decision Delayed them by at least two years.

Stride’s service to Lynnwood will only work with high-speed toll lane expansion, Sound Transit’s East Corridor Development Director Bernard van de Camp said at the System Expansion Committee on August 12.

“Our (I-405) North project depends heavily on that project in the future,” he said.

To bring the service closer to its original schedule, Sound Transit’s board and staff have suggested reducing and delaying elements such as parking lots and pedestrian bridges to some stations. This includes 300 multi-storey car parks in Bothell, Kenmore and Lake Forest Park by 2034. This decision is expected to defer costs between $ 150 million and $ 175 million.

About 10 of the 60-foot long articulated buses Serving the stride line along Highway 522 will be Sound Transit’s first battery electric coach and planned charger. Maintenance and operational base Located in Bothell’s Canyon Park area.

However Of that facility The cost has increased to an estimated $ 290 million. You can prevent that tab from expanding by making it smaller, making “timely board decisions” and improving coordination with other jurisdictions. Van De Kamp has proposed reducing the capacity of the bus from 120 to 80 strides. This saves $ 30 million. Doing so excludes space for the Sound Transit Express Bus servicing Snohomish County. Construction is scheduled for 2025.

The Sound Transit Systems Expansion Committee has recommended these changes to the Board of Directors for consideration within the coming months.

State gets environmental OK for second I-405 toll lane Source link State gets environmental OK for second I-405 toll lane

Back to top button