Can truckers drive on new I-405 express toll lanes in Washington State?

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 10/6/2015

Can heavy trucks use the new express toll lanes in Washington state along Interstate 405? There appears to be much confusion, but the quick answer right now is no.

KIRO 97.3 FM in Washington recently reported that several truck drivers inquired about the use of the new toll lanes that opened on Sept. 27. Washington State Department of Transportation officials initially told the radio station that large trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds are not allowed. However, WSDOT recanted and said that they misinterpreted the laws. WSDOT noted that previous high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) laws that used to govern the road no longer apply.

When Land Line reached out to WSDOT, they yet again backtracked to their original statement: Trucks over 10,000 pounds are not allowed in the express toll lanes.

“The simple answer is that the express toll lanes are part of the HOV system, which means that they are going to fall under the same rules as the HOV system,” WSDOT spokesperson Ethan Bergerson told Land Line.

That means trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds are not allowed on the new express toll lanes, and that seems to be WSDOT’s final answer. WSDOT discussed the laws with the state patrol and the attorney general to confirm that trucks are prohibited from using the lanes. That information was verified and signs informing drivers of the 10,000-pound limit were installed over the weekend.

Truck drivers who choose to use the express toll lanes may not be able to now, but that may change.

“We realize that truck drivers, more than anyone, understand the value of their time,” Bergerson said. “The lanes just opened, and we’re going to continue to monitor them and perhaps in the future we’ll consider adjusting the rules for some trucks.”

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