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WSDOT opens new Bellevue ramp ahead of schedule

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Date:  Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Contact: Seema Javeri, Project Engineer, 425-889-0244 (Bellevue)
Steve Peer I-405 communications, 425-301-2023 (Bellevue)

BELLEVUE – Northbound Interstate-405 travelers exiting to State Route 520 on their way to Redmond will notice their drive got less crowded this week and did so much sooner than initially expected.

This morning, some seven months ahead of schedule, the Washington State Department of Transportation opened a new ramp (PDF 361KB) to Redmond that bypasses 124th Avenue Northeast. Nearly three quarters of a mile long, the ramp reduces the traffic weave with eastbound SR 520 drivers exiting onto 124th Avenue Northeast and gives drivers coming from I-405 more elbow room in their commute to Redmond.

The Bellevue Braids project shows how we can improve traffic flow in an urban environment to keep people and the economy moving.” said Paula Hammond, Secretary of Transportation. “We also put people 300 people to work at a time when they needed it most, thanks to federal and local funding.”

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contributed approximately $80 million for the $107.5 million project. The remainder of the funds came from 2005 gas tax package.

Next month, as part of the project, crews will open the final lane on the Northeast 12th Street Bridge to traffic. The new bridge spans the new braided ramps stemming from Northeast 10th Street and is wider, longer, and taller than its predecessor. It also features a 22-foot-wide pedestrian and bicycle lane that is separated from traffic.

WSDOT awarded the design-build contract to Guy F. Atkinson Construction in December 2009. Design-build is a type of contract that combines project design and construction into a single contract to facilitate faster delivery at a set price.

During the project, crews removed and replaced the Northeast 12th Street Bridge, constructed an additional six bridges, built 23 retaining walls, repaired concrete pavement on northbound I-405, and completed environmental steam mitigation at Sturdevant Creek.

“I want to thank local residents, businesses, and drivers for their seemingly endless patience during construction,” said WSDOT Project Engineer Seema Javeri. “We also want to thank Atkinson Construction and the city of Bellevue for being such excellent partners before and during construction. That partnership was instrumental in our being able to deliver a high-value project that will help relieve congestion in our region for years to come.”

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