Drivers have a new choice when traveling on state Route 167 through Auburn. The Washington State Department of Transportation turned on a 6-mile High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane extension, creating a nearly 14-mile continuous southbound stretch of HOT lanes from Renton to Pacific.
Contractors installed new toll signs, and a digital “HOV only” message is displayed on the rate signs. WSDOT began collecting tolls Dec. 17.
In coordination with the HOT lane extension, this project also includes new traffic signals at the SR 167 interchanges with Ellingson Road and Eighth Street East. The new signals, along with new sidewalks, are designed to improve safety and efficiency at these intersections.
In addition, new ramp meters will begin operating at the SR 167 on-ramps at Ellingson Road and Eighth Street East. Ramp meters are typically used during peak traffic hours to reduce congestion and decrease overall travel times for drivers.
How to use HOT lanes
The SR 167 HOT lanes are open to solo drivers who choose to pay a toll. Carpools of two or more, vanpools and buses can use the lanes toll-free. Toll rates, ranging from 50 cents to the maximum of $9, adjust to keep traffic moving in the HOT lanes even when the regular lanes are congested. Drivers always pay the price they see when they enter, even if they see a higher toll rate farther down the road.
Choose the right pass
Single occupant drivers must have a Good To Go! pass to pay a toll in the HOT lanes. The Pay By Mail option available on other toll facilities is not available on SR 167.
Carpoolers with a Good To Go! pass must do the following to ensure they are not charged a toll:
Set the Flex Pass to HOV mode.
Turn the switchable pass off.
Store a moveable pass in a static bag.
A sticker pass will be charged regardless of the number of passengers in the vehicle.