Roads Scholar: Downtown Express Lanes on I-5 Now Express-ier

Reversing the I-5 express lanes will now happen with the flick of a switch

With the flick of a switch, WSDOT engineers catapulted downtown Seattle's expressways into the 21st century, saving hundreds of midday drivers countless hours spent sitting in traffic. Now, instead of a team driving through Seattle, manually switching signs and barriers at 23 ramps, an automated system—which, according to WSDOT, includes: 45 new cameras, new signs, new controllers, new signal and data cabinets, two new highway advisory radio stations and dozens of miles of underground fiber lines and Ethernet connections—gets the job done in about 15 minutes, rather than the hour it used to take.

That translates into 45 extra minutes a day that 7-mile corridor o'speed can be used, which, WSDOT says, translates into 900 more vehicles a day during the week (1,000 on weekend days), saving about six minutes on every trip between Northgate and Albro.

Huzzah, WSDOT! Another move in the right direction!