WSDOT opens new northbound Interstate 405 lane in Bothell; drivers should expect a faster, safer afternoon commute
By SPECIAL TO THE REPORTER
Bothell Reporter Contributor
June 21, 2010 · Updated 5:33 PM
Crews early this morning removed the last orange construction barrel on Interstate 405 standing in the way of a new 1.8-mile-long northbound lane near Bothell — a welcome relief for commuters.
A $19.3-million construction project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act built a new lane that eliminates a chronic afternoon chokepoint between Northeast 195th Street and State Route 527, the location of a popular park and ride.
The project wasn’t scheduled to break ground until 2012, but last year’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funding package gave the project the financial kick-start it needed to move forward early. The federal stimulus funding created or sustained approximately 90 jobs for the general contractor Kiewit Pacific, Inc.
“The Recovery Act continues to deliver good projects that not only created jobs, but also make our transportation system better. Thanks to this project, I-405 commuters will no longer struggle through a well-known chokepoint; instead they will enjoy an easier commute to home and work,” said Paula Hammond, Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) secretary.
Crews completed lane striping over the weekend and spent the week putting the final touches on the new roadway. At 4:45 this morning, they opened the lane to traffic.
“Kiewit completed the job in eight months by working six days a week. We wanted to provide the benefit to drivers as quickly as possible” said Eastside Corridor Director Kim Henry. “This new lane is an example of how Moving Washington, WSDOT’s anti-congestion program, works. We’re strategically adding capacity and providing commuters the chance to get home from work quicker.”
Not only does the new lane reduce a chokepoint, it also connects two busy retail and residential areas. WSDOT expects travel speeds to increase by up to 25 mph during peak commute times and result in fewer sideswipe and rear-end collisions.
“We were able to make significant traffic improvements in the area, and we were able to do it quickly” said WSDOT Project Engineer Chad Brown. “The schedule meant crews were working around the clock. I want to thank the Bothell residents for their patience during construction.”