Thursday, December 30, 2010

Rentonite wins bet with boyfriend – is the first to use new on-ramp

By guest blogger Steve Peer

For months, Renton resident Tami Green watched construction on I-405 in her Renton neighborhood. When she learned that WSDOT was building a new on-ramp to northbound I-405 from Talbot Road, she realized her daily commute from Renton to Bellevue would be vastly improved because she wouldn’t have to go through downtown Renton to get on the freeway further north. She figured it would reduce her commute by 5-10 minutes each way. As the ramp began to materialize, she made an unusual wager with her boyfriend. She bet she would be the first to drive on the ramp.

So Green called someone with the City of Renton who immediately contacted us. We loved her idea of having a citizen open up a road so Tami became our honored guest. After all, we make improvements for real people, like Green, so it was a perfect fit.

On December 21 crews opened the new I-405 interchange and lanes to traffic in Renton as part of the Renton Stage 2 project. Tami Green was on hand to be the first to use the northbound on-ramp. She waved to construction workers, officials from the City of Renton and WSDOT as she was escorted by Renton Police vehicles onto I-405. The motorcycle police peeled off just before entering I-405.

And Tami Green was the first to drive onto I-405 from the new on-ramp.

The new $83.7 million project adds a new southbound off-ramp to Talbot Road (exit #3) and a new on-ramp to northbound I-405 plus additional lanes in each direction of I-405 between SR 167 and SR 169 and helps to relieve congestion. Crews worked day and night to finish project nine months ahead of schedule – welcome news for many who have been watching construction progress in Renton.

December 21 was a good day for Tami…and it was good day for many other drivers. Since opening the project to traffic, we’ve received quite a few notes from drivers and residents in Renton who tell us the new interchange has shaved time off their commute. Tami told us the new ramps have reduced her commute by eight minutes. Have you tried the new intersection? We want to hear from you about your experience – please leave a comment below.


Earl (Talbot Hill) said...

The noise wall was a big waste of money. Just ask the talbot hill neighborhood that lives by it. We liked the trees better.

LykkenJeff said...

The new ramps should really help with access in this area. Now that they are completed we need to focus on Getting I405 widened from Renton to Bellevue. It is one of the most congested freeways in the country. It needs to be widened by 2 lanes each way. We don't want another worthless HOV/HOT lane like some idiots have proposed. I can't figure out why this stretch has been neglected for so long. Basically just implement the 2002 master plan.

Ulf & Inger said...

We have lived in Victoria Park on the hill south of Renton Village.
Please forward our appreciation to WDOT and Contracor staffs for an excellent performance. The road delays on Talbot Road have been minimal despite the complex construction phases.
Thank You
Inger and Ulf Goranson

Anonymous said...

Now it's time to get I405 widened from Renton to Bellevue. It needs to be widened by 2 lanes each way.

Sharonda said...

Hello my fellow commuters,

I enter the 405 off of Sunset Blvd travel north to Kirkland in the mornings, leaving at 530am. I then travel south to Auburn at 3pm (unless it's a Friday and then i have to leave by 2pm or it's traffic city). This 18 mile commute usually takes 30 to 45 minutes to make. A majority of the traffic occurs between exits 4 and 2 due to merging, for one thing, and the mass amounts of cars entering the freeway from the Renton Highlands and downtown Renton.
The new freeway entrance and exit 3 has alleviated so much congestion. Not only on the freeway but on the streets as well. There is no back up along NE 4th street. There is no waiting through 3 light cycles while sitting on Sunset Blvd staring at the freeway entrance.
I for one am happy to have gained about 15 minutes on my commute. I don't know if it is due to the Holidays these past two weeks and there being less cars on the road or if it's due to the new addition to our beloved 405.

I'm voting for the new freeway exit and entrance 3 all the way! And I hope to be proven true when I drive to work Monday morning with enough time to leisurely stroll to work in the cold.
Happy New Year

I-405 commuter

brenda hokkanen said...

I used the ramp yesterday, I used to live in the area and my daughter is purchasing a home up near Tami (Tami is my sister). This is very convenient when going up on the Benson Hill, and I'm sure everyone who lives in the area will appreciate this ramp over the coming years. I know I will.

tkatzer said...

LOVE the new ramps. I use 405 much more now due to the ease of getting on/off. As a Talbot Hill resident we have all been anxious about increased traffic, noise, etc but so far the improvement has been very worthwhile. Thank you WSDOT for such a nice job on this project!

Anonymous said...

We live in the Cascade-Fairwood area of Renton and really appreciate the new offramp/onramp here. While it was not always easy getting off the hill via Benson Rd S or Talbot, the crews seemed to be working hard at getting the job done quickly. My commute to Bellevue is at least ten minutes shorter and my ride home seems safer when nearing my exit...Great Job!!

Anonymous said...

I think this has greatly improved the safety of the exit to 167 southbound. The number of times I have narrowly been involved in an accident with last minute lane jumpers has dropped off dramatically.

Thank you DOT -

Anonymous said...

I drive 167 from Kent then onto 405 North; I love not having to merge onto 405 but can stay in the "new" exit lane to Bronson & Maple Valley. This is fantastic; except when traffic backs up and drivers are "jumping" into the exit lane then "jumping" back into the 405 lanes.

Eric Muench said...

I don't use the on/off ramps, but I see a definite traffic flow improvement on 405 through this area. The southbound backup at SR169 appears much less, and getting on 405 southbound there is no longer a stop-and-go affair with the new lane. Same with getting on 405 northbound off 167 northbound, the new lane is a blessing in the afternoon--even if I have to share it with the Talbot road onramp folks :-). Kudos to all the construction crews who did this work while keeping traffic moving; you guys amaze me.

dfw said...

There remains a serious issue of heavy traffic needing to exit on the flyover to southbound I-167 whereas a very short weave between the Rainier Ave exit and the !-167 exit.

Using the Rainier Ave outside lane does nothing to improve the issue of getting off I-405 onto southbound I-167.

Anonymous said...

Our parking lot has tilted towards the freeway due to this construction. We are at Cedar Ave S on Renton Hill. I hope it's normal.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that this project actually did help traffic. I see less back up traffic on the S curves daily and find I'm saving 5-10 Minutes a day. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The new interchange and Talbot ramp has had some very positive as well as negative impacts on the 405 North commute.

First off, the good. The snarl that encompassed the 167 interchange is no longer. I have been able to save a ton of time on my drive north. The entrance from Talbot is also plenty big to handle an increase in traffic over the next few years. There is also plenty of room for slow-pokes to accelerate to freeway speeds, which is a HUGE help.

Unfortunately, there are some cons to the new design. The logjam that was 167 is now essentially just pushed up 405 to the Kennydale Hill. Sure there used to be crowding, but the cluster at 167 limited the number of cars going up over the hill. With the congestion removed, more cars are able to pack into the two-lane hill-climb and once again, we meat-heads are still stuck in traffic.

Overall, this project has made some great improvements, but there is still lots to be done. Please continue the good work.

Armin Reschke said...

My wife and I haved lived on Talbot Hill for over 30 years and I had been hoping for direct Talbot Road access to/from I-405 for about 29 of those years. We are now so thankful for the new half diamond interchange - it is truly exceptional in its design and construction, and has shaved 12-15 mintutes off each round trip from home heading north on I-405. By the way, I also drive an ACCESS bus for a living and frequently take advantage of the new off-ramp/on-ramp with similar realized time/travel distance savings (conserving taxpayer money). Yeah!!!

WSDOT comment policy

Post a Comment