Move over, Interstate 5: The section of I-405 from Renton to Bellevue is now the state's most congested highway.
“It is so congested even our HOV lane does not perform well," said Kim Henry of Washington’s Department of Transportation.
A solution is gaining traction: Unite two highways to create a 40-mile commuter corridor. The plan calls for express toll lanes along the length of I- 405, a bus rapid transit line, and an improved connection where I-405 and Highway 167 meet in Renton.
Kim Henry is in charge of the project, which he said would allow traffic to travel “at 45 miles an hour or better” from Lynnwood to Puyallup.
Express toll lanes from Bellevue to Renton are already funded.
The rest of the money could come because of the financial success of tolling north of Bellevue. It has netted more than $30 million so far. That’s making WSDOT think a fully-functioning 40 miles of highway could easily pay for itself.
Next stop: approval from the legislature, maybe next year.