Thursday, September 24, 2020

Renton to Bellevue construction on I-405 continues to ramp up this fall

By Victoria Miller

This has been a year of change for most of us, and that includes Interstate 405. The I-405, Renton to Bellevue Widening and Express Toll Lanes Project construction is underway!

The Renton to Bellevue project is part of our Master Plan, which is a set of long-term improvements to help give people choices and get more people moving through the corridor. We have partnered with Sound Transit and King County Parks to make Renton to Bellevue a multimodal project. The project will include a direct access ramp and inline transit station at the Northeast 44th Street interchange that will help support Sound Transit's Bus Rapid Transit line, as well as two sections of the new King County Eastrail along Lake Washington and in Bellevue north of I-90. This project also addresses several fish culverts as part of our commitment to correct fish barriers by 2030.

Drivers on the south end of I-405 have probably noticed lane and ramp closures beginning in Renton and south Bellevue as part of the project. The project will build a dual express toll lane system between State Route 167 in Renton and Northeast Sixth Street in Bellevue, giving travelers a choice for a more reliable trip. This project will also add two southbound auxiliary lanes, one between I-90 and 112th Avenue Southeast/Lake Washington Boulevard Southeast (Exit 9), and another between Northeast 44th Street and Northeast 30th Street.

We awarded this design-build project during summer 2019 and construction has been ramping up as the design is being completed. So far, our project team has been hard at work with the final design for the project, and construction crews have made good progress on the Eastrail. Now the construction has arrived near the I-405/Northeast 44th Street interchange in Renton, which is where the bulk of the work will be taking place for most of the life of the project. Once the project is complete in 2024, this interchange will look very different to both drivers and pedestrians in the area.

Traffic shifts make way for corridor work

Crews recently completed the project's first traffic shift on northbound I-405 between North 30th Street and Northeast 44th Street, also known as the Kennydale Hill in Renton. The traffic shift was necessary to provide crews enough space to create a new construction work zone. The same number of lanes remain in place as part of the shift, which moved the northbound lanes of traffic farther to the left side of the roadway.
A look at the first traffic shift on northbound I-405.

The traffic shifts for this project will be necessary for crews to safely complete the work behind barriers throughout the project area. Drivers should prepare to see a lot more construction over the next few years, until 2024 when the project is anticipated to open to traffic.
This first mainline traffic shift occurred between North 30th Street and Northeast 44th Street.

As construction continues to become more visible to travelers in the area, please make sure to keep up with the project's progress and weekly closures on the project webpage and the I-405 construction updates webpage.

Given the current circumstances regarding COVID-19, our crews continue to work closely with guidance from Gov. Inslee's "Safe Start" reopening plan to ensure all fieldwork complies with current construction requirements. The weekly closures are performed under COVID-19 safety plans and are monitored by both contractor safety staff and our inspectors to protect the health of crews and the public.