Bellevue opens public comment for I-405 improvements

The Environmental Assessment public hearing is scheduled for April 17 at Bellevue City Hall.

  • Wednesday, April 4, 2018 10:50am
  • News

Community members who might be affected by the next phase of Interstate 405 improvements in the downtown Bellevue vicinity are invited to learn more about the proposed project and provide comments.

The Washington State Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, has just published the I-405, Downtown Bellevue Vicinity Express Toll Lanes Project Environmental Assessment for public review.

WSDOT plans to build the downtown Bellevue project as part of the larger I-405 Renton to Bellevue Widening and Express Toll Lanes construction contract, which extends south to I-5 in Tukwila. 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 Downtown Bellevue vicinity and the Tukwila to I-90 vicinity. Topics studied include traffic, social and community effects, air quality, noise, stormwater and ecosystems. The assessment compares future effects if WSDOT did or did not build this project.

Major features of the project include building two express toll lanes in each direction, widening the northbound off-ramp to State Route 520, making overpass and bridge improvements, and constructing a new bridge over I-405 for bicycles and pedestrians in partnership with King County as part of the Eastside Rail Corridor Regional Trail.

This project would offer a reliable trip choice for I-405 users, improve reliability for transit, move more people and vehicles through this area, and improve safety performance. The project would result in reduced air and water pollutants because of improved technologies and enhanced runoff treatment. The analysis found the project would not result in effects to historic or cultural resources, park and recreation lands, hazardous materials sites, geology or soils.

Read the Environmental Assessment

A summary of the Environmental Assessment and the full text of the documents are available online at: www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I405/RentontoBellevue

Printed copies are available for review during normal business hours at: I-405 Project Office, 600 108th Avenue NE, Suite 405, Bellevue 98004; Bellevue Community College Library, and at Bellevue Regional Library.

How to comment

A 30-day public comment period is open until May 2. Community members may submit comments by email at i405comments@wsdot.wa.gov, or by traditional mail to I-405 Environmental Manager Allison Hanson, 600 108th Ave. NE, Suite 405, Bellevue, WA 98004. Mailed comments must be postmarked by May 2, 2018.

WSDOT also invites community members to attend a public hearing April 17 to learn more about the project and the EA findings. A court reporter will be available during the hearing to accept verbal comments.

Public hearing details

The hearing will be held on April 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Bellevue City Hall Concourse, 450 110th Ave NE

Next steps

In summer 2018, WSDOT plans to publish the EA for the I-405, Tukwila to I-90 Vicinity Express Toll Lanes project, which covers the southern portion of the construction contract. There will be an additional public hearing and public comment period associated with that project.

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