State may let drivers use the shoulder during gridlock

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by JOE FRYER / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on December 5, 2012 at 11:58 AM

The state may give drivers the green light to drive on the shoulder in some places during rush hour in an effort to cut down on gridlock, but paying for it is an obstacle.

The Washington State Department of Transportation is looking at a project that would turn northbound Interstate 5’s shoulder into a driving lane at certain choke points during the evening rush hour only.

"In the areas where we have limited space and we have enough width in the roadway, it's making use of every bit of that width,” said WSDOT traffic engineer Mark Leth.

It would cost about $30 million to get the shoulder ready and add the necessary signs. That money is not in the budget.

WSDOT also is looking at squeezing a third lane onto northbound I-5 at Seneca Street in Seattle, which is considered the worst bottleneck in the state. Again, there’s no money to make it happen.

The budget is slim and the state has struggled to get grants for either project.

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