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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Council Roundup: 'Braids' highway project begins

Visualization of I-405 with new overpasses and braided on- and off-ramps for I-405.Council members on Monday took in a progress report on the Bellevue Braids Project, the latest effort to improve safety and relieve congestion on Interstate 405 through the city.

The Braids Project by the state Department of Transportation (WSDOT), in cooperation with the Bellevue, takes its name from the "braided" ramps that will be constructed to separate vehicles entering and exiting I-405 between Northeast Eighth Street and SR 520.

Once the project is finished and open to traffic in winter 2012, a ramp from Northeast Eighth Street will take drivers onto northbound I-405, while a new ramp from the recently completed Northeast 10th Street bridge will carry drivers directly to SR 520. The idea is to eliminate the infamous "weave" and reduce delays on the most heavily used interchange on I-405.

In addition, the Northeast 12th Street bridge over I-405 will be replaced with a longer, wider bridge that includes a pedestrian and bicycle path separated from traffic.

Work on Northeast 12th Street began recently with full, night closures of the road, from 112th to 116th Avenue Northeast, scheduled to last until early March. After that, for the next two years, only two of the four lanes on Northeast 12th Street will be open to traffic, one lane in each direction.

The contractor for the braids project, Guy F. Atkinson Construction, was chosen for the braids project in part because its bid of $107.5 million was $67.5 million less than WSDOT’s engineers had originally estimated, and because the proposed design minimized impacts to nearby properties, including Overlake Hospital. 

WSDOT has more information about the braids project.

Feedback: Nancy LaCombe, Capital Projects Manager, 425-452-4382 or nlacombe@bellevuewa.gov

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