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Toll hikes now in effect for I-405 and SR-167

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(The Center Square) – Commuters may notice that toll rates on Interstate 405 and State Route 167 increased on Friday.

Drivers using either of the lanes will see the minimum toll rate increase to $1 and the maximum rate increase to $15.

The Washington State Transportation Commission’s toll rate hike is expected to increase revenues by $1.1 million to $2.5 million, with evening tolling and peak hour HOV policies increased by an hour to 8 p.m. on both roadways, for a total of $4.8 million to $8.3 million from March through June 2025.

The commission increased toll rates to boost revenue to address shortfalls for recently awarded corridor projects and ongoing funding needs for further transportation improvement projects.

According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, total toll revenue from I-405 and SR 167 in 2023 was $25.8 million. Approximately $16.2 million went to capital improvements throughout the corridor.

The I-405 and SR 167 corridors have recently seen increased congestion in both the general and express toll lanes. Statistics from October 2022 to October 2023 show that general purpose lane travel times on both corridors increased by three to nine minutes. Express toll lane travel times increased by one to three minutes.

In November 2023, WSDOT looked at daily vehicle volumes on northbound I-5 at Northeast 145th Street and recorded daily volumes that averaged 87,000 vehicles. During that same period, daily volumes on northbound I-405 just north of Northeast 85th Street where the highway contains three general purpose lanes and two tolled lanes averaged 108,000 vehicles.

Prior to the toll rate increase approval last month, some western Washington residents expressed concerns that toll hikes might make traffic worse.

Currently, the average daily toll rates are $2.41 on I-405 and $3.36 on SR 167 high occupancy lanes.

Karl Westby, SR 167 master plan team member, anticipates that roughly 4% to 8% of all drivers using the corridors would pay the maximum toll rate of $15.

Statistics presented by WSTC showed that 77% of daily trips on SR 167 high occupancy lanes are either free or under 75 cents.

According to the commission, toll rates have not been adjusted since they were first implemented on SR 167 more than 15 years ago and more than eight years ago on I-405.