Multimodal and time saving improvements coming for people in the vicinity of I-405/NE 85th in Kirkland

Construction begins in 2023 on project that includes new Stride BRT inline station and new I-405 interchange at NE 85th Street

KIRKLAND – Multimodal access, connectivity, and time saving improvements for people who walk and bike in Kirkland’s Northeast 85th Street area, and drive or use transit along Interstate 405, took a big step forward today, Wednesday, Nov. 16.

The Washington State Department of Transportation and Sound Transit announced the selection of the "apparent best value" contractor for the design-build contract to build the I-405/Northeast 85th Street Interchange and Inline Bus Rapid Transit Station Project.

Contractor Graham's $234.4 million bid had the winning combination of price and technical proposal, meeting the "apparent best value" bid requirements. Design-build contracts combine final project design and construction into a single contract.

About the project

WSDOT and Sound Transit are partnering to reconstruct the I-405/Northeast 85th Street interchange. This will support Sound Transit's Stride bus rapid transit, create connections between transit on Northeast 85th Street and bus rapid transit, and provide direct access to the I-405 Express Toll Lanes.

The existing two-level cloverleaf interchange at Northeast 85th Street will be replaced with a three-level interchange that includes:

  • An inline bus rapid transit station
  • The I-405 mainline and direct-access ramps to the ETLs
  • Local improvements along Northeast 85th Street and the intersection with 114th Avenue Northeast/Kirkland Way.

The project will also build pedestrian and bike connections to Stride bus rapid transit and the regional transit network.

The project is funded predominantly by Sound Transit and is scheduled to open to traffic in 2026. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2023.

"The strong partnership between WSDOT, Sound Transit, and the city of Kirkland has been critical in planning this project," said Lisa Hodgson, WSDOT I-405/SR 167 program administrator. "Northeast 85th Street is the primary transportation link between Kirkland, Redmond, and I-405, and we look forward to providing the community with bus rapid transit, improved multimodal connections and better access to central Kirkland."

"The new inline station at Northeast 85th will be integral to delivering fast, frequent Stride bus rapid transit service to people who live and work in Kirkland, Redmond and all along the I-405 corridor," said Sound Transit Program Executive Bernard van de Kamp. "By working together, WSDOT, the City of Kirkland and Sound Transit have developed a project that will make transit more accessible along the I-405 corridor and throughout the region and improve overall mobility."

About Stride bus rapid transit

Sound Transit's Stride bus rapid transit is a new fast, frequent and reliable bus service connecting to light rail and to communities north, east and south of Lake Washington.

Slow down on ice and snow.

It's easier to skid or lose control traveling at higher speeds. Give yourself more time to stop.

Carry chains, practice installing them.

Winter conditions could mean chains are required on your route. Practice putting them on your vehicle ahead of time.

Pack your winter car kit.

Carry extra supplies like warm clothing, ice scraper and brush, jumper cables and other emergency items.