Office of Operations
photos of traffic merging onto congested highway, congestion in snowstorm, variable message sign, cargo, variable speed limit sign in a work zone, and a freeway at night
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Traffic Bottlenecks

Combating Bottlenecks


Listening to a citizen's suggestion and acting upon it.

Background: This project was suggested to WSDOT by a citizen.

Bottleneck Project: Freeway restriping on SR 167 in Seattle metro area. In vicinity of, and as a result of the afternoon shift change at the Boeing facility along SR 167, in combination with normal, heavy commute patterns, there was one short section of freeway that carried only two SB lanes just north of SR 18. A citizen suggested that the chokepoint could be revised at very reasonable cost to extend the three-lane continuity. By utilizing full depth shoulders, and extra lane was effected and the resulting directional lanes were restriped at 11-foot widths, with 2.5 foot shoulders. A comprehensive study was conducted to gauge the outcomes, benefits, and safety considerations. All indications predicted a positive return. Cost was estimated to be $42,000. Following the project, congestion has been noticed to be less, average speeds are recorded to have increased by 10 to 20 mph, and throughput has recorded to increase by approximately 10 percent.