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caption: Interstate 405 toll sensors.
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Interstate 405 toll sensors.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Toll-free nights and weekends on I-405 may become permanent

The pause on Interstate 405 tolls during nights and weekends could be made permanent. The state's transportation commission is set to finalize the change in rules this week.

After many complaints from drivers about congested commutes through the corridor, the commission in March adopted a temporary change that stopped tolling during off hours.

The changes made the I-405 express lanes free on nights and weekends. It also dropped carpool requirements for those off hours as well.

Reema Griffith, executive director of the state's transportation commission, said they'll look at new data from the Department of Transportation on how the changes have affected traffic.

Griffith: "We haven't seen the actual data just yet that they will present, but our understanding is that this change in hours of operation and lifting the tolls, and stopping tolling on the weekends has overall been a good decision. And it certainly appears to have alleviated or removed the congestion that people were seeing on the weekends when we were tolling 24/7."

Griffith said there's still the question of how reduced toll hours will affect revenue from the lanes.

The commission will hear public comment on the changes Tuesday afternoon, just before taking its final action.

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