$74 million later, Mercer Mess is 2 seconds faster

Seattle cars crawl through the Mercer Mess. (Photo: KOMO News)

SEATTLE -- Two seconds cost $74 million.

That amount was set aside to improve the Mercer Mess. Lanes were added. Signal capacity was improved.

Now GPS navigator TomTom, which tracks drivers using its app, says the average time through the corridor during the peak morning commute 7 minutes, 50 seconds before the Mercer Mess construction.

And now the travel time through Mercer is 7 minutes and 48 seconds.

That's right. An improvement of 2 seconds.

INRIX, a travel-analytics company based in Kirkland, has users with GPS trackers and ran its own numbers. It compared travel times from September 2014 compared with September 2016.

Travel times were 45 seconds slower through Mercer, INRIX found.

There are more cars, of course.

The corridor has an average of 30,000 more cars a day than it did two years ago.

INRIX had more bad news for eastbound commuters using the Mercer Mess from Elliott Avenue to Interstate 5.

In 2014, the peak travel time between Elliott Ave and I-5 was just over 7 minutes, while this same corridor in 2016 saw almost a 9 minute travel time at its peak.

When comparing September 2014 with September 2016 travel times on this corridor, drivers last month potentially spent 45 seconds longer on this route than in 2014.

Ttravel times were worse in 2015 than in either 2014 or 2016, with peak travel times potentially broaching almost 10 minutes on this corridor.

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