Left: Crews prepare rebar cages for I-405 bridge pier. Right: A 185-foot, 100-ton girder to support new bridge being guided into place by nighttime construction crew.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has received $79.5 million in Recovery Act funds that will speed up by one year the improvements on I-405 in Bellevue.
The total cost of the project, including planning, design, and construction, is $227.7 million. The state is providing $148.2 million. The project was originally scheduled to begin this fall, when the state funds would become available, but the Recovery money allowed groundbreaking to begin in November 2009.
The project is designed to ease highway congestion for more than 60,000 commuters each day who pass through the aging I-405 and SR 520 interchange. Originally built for much less capacity, the interchange’s limited ramps create a bottleneck for rush-hour drivers trying to head north toward Kirkland, Bothell, and Redmond.
By building a series of ramps that siphon off some traffic, road capacity will be increased in the slow-moving area and relieve the bottleneck. Crews will also build an eastbound lane on SR 520 that allows vehicles to bypass a busy off-ramp at 124th Avenue in northeast Bellevue.
Guy F. Anderson Construction, LLC was awarded the contract, and is performing the work. WSDOT expects to open the new improvements to traffic by 2012.
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