Community members who might be affected by the next phase of Interstate 405 improvements in the Tukwila to Bellevue vicinity are invited to learn more about the proposed project and provide input during a 30-day public comment period.
The Washington State Department of Transportation opened the formal public comment period for the I-405, Tukwila to I-90 Vicinity Express Toll Lanes Project Environmental Assessment, July 9.
WSDOT plans to build the improvements covered by this environmental document as part of the larger I-405 Renton to Bellevue Widening and Express Toll Lanes construction contract. That contract generally builds one new lane in each direction from downtown Bellevue to SR 167, which will be combined with the existing high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane to create a dual express toll lane system. Construction is currently scheduled to start in 2019, with completion in 2024.
To document the construction contract’s effects on the environment, WSDOT evaluated two geographic segments: the Tukwila to I-90 vicinity and the Downtown Bellevue vicinity. This environmental assessment marks the second of these two documents. WSDOT released the Downtown Bellevue vicinity document earlier this spring and held a public hearing in April.
Topics studied in both geographic segments include traffic, social and community effects, air quality, noise, stormwater and ecosystems. The assessments compare future effects if WSDOT did or did not build the projects.
Major features of the Tukwila to I-90 project include adding new capacity to create a two-lane express toll lane system between SR 167 in Renton and Northeast 6th Street in Bellevue. In general, the project will add one new lane in each direction. The existing HOV lane will be combined with this new lane to create a dual express toll lane system.
The project also includes construction of new southbound I-405 auxiliary lanes, interchange and bridge improvements, new and relocated noise walls, new ramps and transit stations to support I-405 Bus Rapid Transit in partnership with Sound Transit and portions of the Eastside Rail Corridor Regional Trail in partnership with King County.