Mercer Island reaches tentative deal with Sound Transit over HOV lanes
The City of Mercer Island reached a tentative agreement with Sound Transit over HOV lanes and light rail construction Wednesday night.
The City announced Thursday morning that, following a 6.5-hour executive session, the Mercer Island City Council returned to open session and voted to approve a tentative settlement agreement with Sound Transit. The scheduled King County Superior Court hearing 10 a.m. today was canceled.
The Washington State Department of Transportation was told in a 2016 letter from the Federal Highway Administration that the department cannot “grant either temporary or permanent waiver to permit solo drivers to access HOV lanes.”
Mercer Island drivers — even those driving solo — were granted access to the HOV lanes in 1976 in exchange for the expansion of the freeway. That access will be taken away later this year when construction gets underway to add light rail across what is now the I-90 express lanes.
More details are expected later in the day.