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Lawmakers agree to extra time on Route 167 HOT lanes project

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on April 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
April 19, 2011 1:51 pm

Lawmakers have agreed to continue operating toll lanes on Route 167 through June 2013.

The yearlong extension of the high occupancy toll lanes pilot project is included in a transportation budget deal that could receive a Senate floor vote Wednesday.

Since May 2008, commuters on the stretch of Route 167 between Auburn and Renton  have been able to pay to use car-pool lanes and reach their destination faster.

Traffic is moving faster in all lanes of the highway since the charges began, the Department of Transportation says. But the project continues to lose money, even as the lanes gain in popularity.

The Senate cited that fiscal performance in balking at an extension, but came over to the House’s way of thinking in negotiations. House Transportation chairwoman Judy Clibborn sought to continue the project with the goal of eventually linking it to similar proposed toll lanes on Interstate 405.

I-405 express toll lanes, aimed at reducing congestion and raising money for road improvements, received final approval from the Legislature last week.  They would run from the intersection with Interstate 5 in Lynnwood to Northeast Sixth Street in Bellevue.

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