Local Information

Changes coming to both directions of I-90 between Bellevue and Issaquah

Friday, August 2, 2019 - 14:20

Nicole Daniels, communications, 206-440-4479

Two-year project to add auxiliary lanes, noise walls starts Aug. 5

BELLEVUE – People who travel along Interstate 90 in east King County should plan ahead for traffic changes beginning Monday, Aug. 5, as a new project ramps up.

Over the next two years, the Washington State Department of Transportation project will add capacity on both directions of I-90 between the Eastgate and West Lake Sammamish Parkway interchanges, by restriping the existing roadway and creating auxiliary lanes. Contractor crews from Atkinson Construction will also build sound walls in strategic locations within the project area to minimize the effects of traffic noise.

“As population continues to increase in the Puget Sound region, so does traffic congestion,” said WSDOT Project Engineer James Harper. “These improvements will help provide some relief for nearly 150,000 travelers who use this corridor daily.”

What's an auxiliary lane?
An auxiliary lane is a supplemental or extra lane that’s added between closely spaced interchanges. They are frequently used to give drivers more time to safely enter or exit the highway, depending on if they need to merge over, speed up or slow down. These new lanes will be located on the outside of the existing lanes in both directions of I-90, adding capacity and accessibility to all travelers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Temporary I-90 traffic changes
Before the new auxiliary lanes can be added, contractor crews have to reinforce catch basins, drainage pipes and utility covers along the shoulders so they can withstand the weight of everyday traffic. To safely perform this work, crews will temporarily restripe both directions of I-90 and shift traffic so they can install concrete barriers.

Travelers should expect a lane shift to the right between 150th Avenue Southeast near Eastgate and State Route 900 in Issaquah starting as early as Monday, Aug. 5, while crews work in the center median. Once the median work is finished, the contractor will restripe the lanes and shift traffic to the left to complete work along the right shoulder.

Additional work details
Travelers should also plan ahead for the following throughout this two-year project:

  • Overnight lane and ramp closures between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Single lane closures during daytime hours.
  • Around-the-clock shoulder closures.
  • Narrowed and shifted lanes on both directions of I-90.

This $76 million project is scheduled to be complete by fall 2021.

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