Sound Transit and the WSDOT broke ground on the next stage of adding new HOV lanes in both directions across Lake Washington on Interstate 90 to prepare for East Link light rail service between Seattle and the Eastside.

The second stage of the project now getting underway by general contractor Gary Merlino Construction will open a new eastbound HOV lane between Mercer Island and Bellevue in late 2012. The third and final stage, to be completed in 2014, will add HOV lanes to both directions of I-90 between Mercer Island and Seattle, clearing the way for light rail to be constructed in the center lanes. The total cost for all stages is $187.6 million.