We spoke and WSDOT listened! Thanks to the many voices like yours that expressed concerns with the I-405 express toll lanes, WSDOT will no longer charge tolls on nights, weekends, and major holidays.
Earlier this year I asked for your feedback on ways we could improve the express toll lanes system. This change was near the top of the list.
I appreciate WSDOT’s willingness to listen to our concerns and make appropriate adjustments to the system to make our commutes a bit easier.
Here are some important tips from WSDOT about the changes starting this weekend.
Tips for drivers
- Check the signs: When the signs display the words “OPEN TO ALL” that means drivers can enter the lanes for free without a Good To Go! pass or a carpool.
- Use the designated access points: Drivers must continue to observe the designated access points, and are not permitted to cross the double white lines at any time. Failure to observe these rules may result in a $136 ticket. WSDOT designed an express toll lanes interactive map to help drivers learn the access points and plan trips.
- Direct access ramps are HOV-only during off-hours: Only transit and two-person carpools are permitted to use the direct access ramps at Northeast 6th Street in downtown Bellevue and Northeast 128th Street in Totem Lake. These signs will show HOV2+ NO PASS NEEDED. This means there will be limited exits for drivers traveling southbound through Kirkland and downtown Bellevue due to the restrictions at these two locations. WSDOT is looking at options to improve access in these areas. Weekday toll-paying customers are still allowed to use these ramps, regardless of vehicle occupancy.
- Other tolled facilities operate as usual: The State Route 167 HOT Lanes, as well as the SR 520 and Tacoma Narrows bridges will operate as usual.
The hours of operations change is part one of more than a dozen additional changes to the I-405 express toll lanes corridor to increase capacity and improve operations including:
- New merge-and-weave lanes and hard running shoulders at key northbound I-405 chokepoints near SR 520 and SR 527,
- Improved striping and signage,
- Longer access points that make it easier for drivers to merge into the toll lanes.