Sound Transit and WSDOT open state's first HOV Direct Access Ramp
Sound Transit and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) today opened a historic addition to the region's mass transit system: the first HOV Direct Access ramp in Washington State. The ramp will allow buses and other High Occupancy Vehicles to exit I-5 from the HOV lane directly into the Lynnwood Transit Center. WSDOT designed the Direct Access HOV ramp and managed construction of the project for Sound Transit.
The ramp will provide bus riders with significantly improved transit times — between five and ten minutes on a peak-hour daily commute between Snohomish and King Counties. The ramp will be opened to bus, car pool and van pool traffic at midnight tonight.
"This direct access ramp is another success story in fulfilling the mission to build a mass transit system with fast buses, commuter rail, light rail and related capital projects," said Sound Transit Board Chair/Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. "And, with WSDOT's management, the project came in ahead of schedule and under budget."
"Sound Transit is making good on its commitment to deliver results for taxpayers in Snohomish County and the entire region," added Sound Transit Boardmember/Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.
"In addition to reducing transit times and increasing service reliability, the Direct Access Ramp will benefit all I-5 travelers by allowing buses to reach their off-freeway destination without having to cross several lanes of traffic," said Paula Hammond, Chief of Staff for the Washington State Department of Transportation. "The ramp will also be open to carpools and vanpools, further increasing the benefits."
"On top of the benefits to commuters and motorists, there are huge benefits for all the taxpayers in the Sound Transit region; the project was completed six months ahead of schedule and, when the contract is closed, will be approximately $5 million under the original budget," said Sound Transit Vice Chair/Everett City Councilman Marc Olsen.
The Lynnwood Direct Access Ramp is the result of a strong partnership between Sound Transit, the Washington State Department of Transportation, Community Transit, the City of Lynnwood and the federal government.
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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.