CHOKEPOINTS

Northbound HOV optimism and aggressive litter cleanup in Puyallup

Apr 19, 2022, 6:40 AM | Updated: 7:08 am
WSDOT, HOV lanes...
(WSDOT, Flickr)
(WSDOT, Flickr)

Nearly every morning on the KIRO Newsradio text line, I receive this question: When will the northbound HOV lane open?

Four-month closure coming for SR 520 ramp in Redmond

The lane will start before Highway 410 in Sumner and join the current HOT lane by Highway 18 in Auburn. According to Cara Mitchell from the Washington Department of Transportation, it is scheduled to open in late June, with some upcoming lane shifts in the work zone.

“They don’t want to open it up and then close it back,” she said. “They have drainage work they have to finish. They’ve got some signage and bridge supports they are waiting to get installed in there, and they have final striping as well.”

Mitchell said this should make a big difference to that specific chokepoint.

Our traffic models basically supported doing the northbound direction first and getting this thing built,” she said. “It’s worse in the morning than it is in the afternoon, believe it or not.”

When this HOV lane opens, it will be free to those who meet the requirements, but it won’t stay that way. It will eventually be converted into a HOT lane, where you can pay your way in, just like the rest of the system up to the 405 in Renton. While its currently unknown when this transition will happen, its rumored it will happen a year after it opens.

Trash pickup

Now, to the trash pickup on 512 in the Puyallup area. So much of it has piled up that the state is actually blocking lanes to give Department of Ecology workers a sizable work zone for cleanup.

Mitchell believes the grassy median collects everything.

“It’s an area that we get a lot of calls and complaints about,” she said. “It’s also an area where we have a cable barrier, and it’s not as wide as some of the other medians on some of our other state highways in Pierce County. We really want to make sure that the crews have a good sized and protected work zone out there.”

The trash pickup is working in the eastbound direction this week, closing the inside lane for a defined stretch each day. Workers collected enough trash on Monday to fill 240 large bags. They are working  in between the primary commutes to minimize the impact.

“We’re actually doing this work around the Spring Fair hours,” Mitchell said. “We’re not doing anything on Thursday. We’re timing this to thread the needle around those weekend hours with the Spring Fair.”

Next Monday and Tuesday, they will be working the same area between Puyallup and Portland Avenue, but in the westbound direction.

Mitchell said this work is a good reminder to secure your loads and avoid littering.

“We need drivers to work a little harder in securing their loads and keep their litter contained inside of their vehicles,” she said.

Make sure to give these workers plenty of room through these work zones. And be sure to move over a lane, if you can. If you can’t, please slow down significantly.

Chokepoints

Trash is strewn along an Interstate 5 freeway on-ramp as viewed in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by G...
Chris Sullivan

Sullivan: A glance at current Washington state laws to avoid littering on the road

Littering is still a huge problem on our roads, but are you still required to carry a trash bag in your car?
8 days ago
Expansion joints underneath I-5 (KIRO Newsradio)...
Chris Sullivan

I-5 expansion joint repair will hamper your summer driving

If the weather holds, southbound I-5 will be shut-down this weekend through Seattle for the first of a summer’s worth of weekend closures for expansion joint repairs.
13 days ago
(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)...
Chris Sullivan

ORCA card gets a reboot with instant value transfer feature

The new site and app will allow more than five million users to add money to their accounts instantly alongside 6,000 new card readers and vending machines.
16 days ago
fare...
Chris Sullivan

Sullivan: Sound Transit passes fare reform with diminished ridership accountability checks

Sound Transit no longer has mechanisms in place to check I-D's and track who isn't paying in the first place with their decision to remove law enforcement from the fare enforcement process.
19 days ago
Expansion joints I-5, bumps...
Chris Sullivan

Work to remove bumps along I-5 through downtown Seattle set to bring months of weekend closures

Workers are about kick off work to remove those bumps on I-5 through Seattle, but it's going to come with a heavy price for drivers.
27 days ago
montlake...
Chris Sullivan

Montlake Bridge closure conditionally slated for weekend of April 22

A full weekend closure of the Montlake Bridge could happen next week, or it might not, depending on the weather.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Northbound HOV optimism and aggressive litter cleanup in Puyallup