WSDOT and Sound Transit are adding high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to the outer roadways (existing general purpose lanes) in both directions of I-90 between Seattle and Bellevue. This collaboration is making vital improvements for traffic flow on I-90 while preparing the center roadway for Sound Transit’s East Link light rail extension from Seattle to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond.
I-90 includes a two-lane, reversible center roadway between Seattle and Bellevue for buses, carpools and vanpools. In the morning, traffic in the center roadway is westbound; in the evening it’s eastbound. Buses and high-occupancy vehicles traveling opposite the center roadway must use the outer roadway. With no HOV lanes in out roadway at the start of this project, buses and carpools experienced routine, rush-hour delays, undermining the benefits of ride sharing.