Drivers who get stuck in commuter traffic in Kent along southbound Highway 167 could get some relief by the end of the decade.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) plans to construct a new auxiliary lane in the southbound direction from the State Route 516 interchange at milepost 19.6 south to the South 277th Street interchange at milepost 17.95. An auxiliary lane will reduce congestion on SR 167 and improve lane weave conditions, according to WSDOT.
The project is in the preliminary engineering and environmental clearance phase with a current timeline, based on funding, to begin construction in 2027 with the lane opening to traffic in 2029, said Craig Smiley, WSDOT spokesperson, in an email.
“The project is currently anticipated to be funded through bonded toll revenue,” Smiley said. “Due to impacts to toll revenue from the pandemic, a financial plan will need to be completed to verify project timing.”
Estimated cost of the project is $15 million to $20 million, Smiley said.
Because the project will occur within 200 feet of the Green River and within the shoreline jurisdiction, WSDOT will need a shoreline substantial development and shoreline conditional use permit from the city of Kent. No work will occur below the ordinary high-water mark or in associated wetlands, but instead, entirely within WSDOT right of way. The work includes expanding the paved edge of roadway in some areas within the shoreline jurisdiction.