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What’s planned in 2017 that could impact your commute

Construction will make things temporarily worse in some areas as cities and the state improve infrastructure. (KIRO 7)

With commuters getting more frustrated by traffic, KIRO 7 asked about the changes coming in 2017 that will improve how people get around.

In some cases, construction will make things temporarily worse.

Related: Pay-per-mile tax program is going to be tested in Washington

Here’s a look at what to expect — by mode of travel.


A bottleneck on northbound I-405 in Bothell has made express toll lanes even more unpopular with some drivers.

A first step toward relief begins in January, when work starts on a project to allow shoulder-driving during peak commutes.

The Washington State Department of Transportation says the lane will be ready this spring.

Also this spring, expect the next phase of work repaving and fixing expansion joints on I-5 between Federal Way and Tukwila, focused this time on the northbound lanes.

In Tacoma this spring, work starts on a third viaduct through the Nalley Valley, part of the major re-alignment of the interchange between I-5 and State Route 16.

Work on I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass resumes next summer.

This project widens the roadway and builds an overpass for wildlife.

Beneath Seattle, the tunnel machine Bertha should break through in June near the Space Needle, ending a long-delayed dig from Pioneer Square.

In 2017, Seattle will finish the Yesler Bridge project, and test more responsive traffic lights on Mercer Street.


King County Metro plans to add buses in March and again in September to relieve crowding and make routes more reliable.

The transit agency will also work on a RapidRide expansion and a long-range plan.

Sound Transit says it expects to take delivery of five Compressed Natural Gas and four double-decker buses.


In 2017, we’ll see more construction on Sound Transit’s Eastlink project to bring light rail across the I-90 bridge to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond.

Sound Transit CEO: We need cooperation to improve light-rail timeline

Northgate station construction starts in 2017, and Sound Transit begins planning the $54 billion expansion voters approved in November.

Two new round trips will begin on Southline Sounder commuter trains, and work starts in Downtown Seattle on the city’s First Avenue streetcar.


A new state ferry, the Chimacum, begins service early in the year between Seattle and Bremerton.

Construction starts on a new Mukilteo ferry terminal.

On the Seattle waterfront, early work begins renovating Colman Dock.

The first passenger-only ferry trips begin between Bremerton and Seattle in July, going twice the speed of the car ferry.


The Seattle Department of Transportation says the city will extend protected bike lanes on Second Avenue.

New bike lanes are coming on North 92nd near North Seattle College, and in Magnolia between Fishermen’s Terminal and the Ballard Locks.

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