New southbound SR 167 HOT Lane extension opens on Dec. 17

Six-mile HOT lane extension to create 14-mile southbound stretch of HOT lanes from Renton to Pacific

Drivers will soon have a new choice while traveling on State Route 167 through Auburn. On Saturday, Dec. 17, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will turn on a six-mile High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane extension, creating a nearly 14-mile continuous southbound stretch of HOT lanes from Renton to Pacific.

Overnight Thursday Dec. 15, contractors working for WSDOT will uncover new toll signs, and a digital “HOV only” message will be displayed on the rate signs. WSDOT will begin collecting tolls at 5 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17.

“We know HOT lane drivers have been eagerly waiting for this new extension to bring relief at a major bottleneck in Auburn, and we’re excited to bring this new option to them a few months earlier than planned,” said WSDOT Director of Systems and Engineering Jennifer Charlebois.

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 the 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 further down the road.