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Trips from Sumner to Auburn just got faster. Here's where HOV lanes will help traffic

News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash. logoNews Tribune, Tacoma, Wash. 8/13/2022 Peter Talbot, The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)

Aug. 12—DRIVERS TRAVELING — Trips from Sumner to Auburn on state Route 167 could feel a little faster for drivers starting Friday afternoon. According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, northbound HOV lanes will be fully open by 8 p.m.

A 7-mile section of the highway will now have a dedicated lane for carpools, buses and motorcycles starting just north of the state Route 410 on-ramp. In a tweet, WSDOT announced that crews would start uncovering signs and removing orange cones Friday afternoon.

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

The new lane connects to an existing high-occupancy toll lane on the highway south of Auburn.

Crews still have some work to do. A small area at the south end of the project will remain closed through September, according to WSDOT. Drainage is still being completed on the northbound state Route 167 bridge that spans the state Route 410 interchange near Sumner.

Now that the project is complete, two ramp meters will be re-activated Monday in Pacific at on-ramps from Jovita Boulevard/Stewart Road and Ellingson Road. WSDOT said a new ramp meter at the 24th Street on-ramp will activate in the coming weeks.

This story was originally published August 12, 2022 12:53 PM.

(c)2022 The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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