An express toll lane pilot project on a stretch of Interstate 405 northeast of Seattle is being branded a failure by a group of state lawmakers.
The project converted high-occupancy vehicle lanes and a general-purpose lane into express toll lanes, or ETLs, in September 2015. The project along a 17-mile stretch of I-405 between Lynnwood and Bellevue was set up for a two-year test period.
The continuation of the pilot project is contingent on two benchmarks: The facility must be operationally profitable and the express toll lanes must maintain an average speed of 45 mph for 90 percent of the time during peak periods.
After two years, the lanes do pay for themselves. However, the average speed requirement is not being met. The average speed in the affected lanes are 45 mph or more about 82 percent of the time – about 8 percent shy of the required threshold.