Northbound SR 167 HOV lane opening from Sumner to Auburn

Northbound SR 167 HOV lane opening from Sumner to Auburn

SUMNER – East Pierce County commuters who use northbound State Route 167 have something to celebrate today, Friday, Aug. 12. 

This afternoon and evening, Graham Contracting, LTD crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation are opening a 7-mile section of the new northbound SR 167 HOV lane, from Sumner to Auburn. The new HOV lane is expected to be open by 8 p.m. Friday night.

“This is a long-awaited improvement for people commuting on SR 167 in Pierce County,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Justin Janke. “Opening the new northbound HOV lane will reduce travel times and increase capacity during peak commute hours.”

For the past year, crews widened sections of northbound SR 167 for nearly 9 miles, between Sumner and Auburn, building the new northbound HOV lane. That new lane now connects to the existing SR 167 high-occupancy-toll lane south of Auburn in King County.

What’s left on the project

While a large section of the HOV lane is now open, one small area at the south end of the project will remain closed through September. Crews are finishing drainage on the northbound SR 167 bridge that spans the SR 410 interchange near Sumner. Once that work is finished, the remaining section of HOV lane will open to travelers.

On Monday, Aug. 15, WSDOT will also re-activate ramp meters at the following locations in Pacific:

  • Jovita Boulevard/Stewart Road on-ramp to northbound SR 167.
  • Ellingson Road on-ramp to northbound SR 167.

A new ramp meter at the 24th Street on-ramp to northbound SR 167 in Sumner will activate in the coming weeks.

Project history

This section of SR 167 was identified in the Tacoma/Pierce County HOV Program, which includes a series of projects to build HOV lanes on I-5, SR 16 and SR 167 in Pierce County. The Practical Solutions approach was used on this project to identify ways to reduce congestion using cost-effective solutions. This approach led to constructing the new northbound HOV within the existing pavement widths on SR 167. The new HOV lane will transition to an Express Toll Lane at a future date. On average, approximately 57,000 vehicles use northbound SR 167 each day, according to 2019 travel data.

Real-time traffic information is available on the WSDOT statewide travel map, the WSDOT app and WSDOT regional Twitter account.

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