A concept rendering of the Lid Park option proposed for the Grand Connection’s I-405 crossing. Courtesy Image

A concept rendering of the Lid Park option proposed for the Grand Connection’s I-405 crossing. Courtesy Image

City Council pursues lid park over I-405 as part of Grand Connection

Council directed staff to work on the prelimainray design for the Grand Connection I-405 crossing.

Bellevue will pursue a “Lid Park” for the Grand Connection.

At the Nov. 19 Bellevue city council study session, the council directed staff on their preferred location for the Grand Connection project to cross Interstate 405.

The Grand Connection is a city project established to create a non-motorized connection from Meydenbauer Bay Park, across I-405, and into the Wilburton Study Area where it will connect to the Eastside Rail Corridor.

Staff outlined the range of factors that must be considered in the decision. The Grand Connection is meant to pursue opportunities to create public space on or adjacent to the crossing, create a safe crossing for pedestrians and cyclists, serve as a catalyst for adjacent development in the Wilburton Study Area, and interface with the future Eastside Rail corridor.

Part of the framework plan for the project presented three concepts for I-405 crossing segments and how they will connect with the Wilburton Commercial Area. Alternative three, known as Lid Park, was the staff’s recommended option.

The Lid Park Alternative would cross over I-405 between Northeast Fourth and Northeast Sixth streets. According to the city’s Grand Connection website, 200,000 square feet of public space would be created along the connection for public use and events. Strategic planning manager Emil King explained the open space would be on top of a lid that would sit over the highway, similar in nature to Kylde Warren Park in Dallas, Texas.

In discussion, all of the councilmembers were supportive of the third alternative. As the biggest and most transformational option, the Lid Park option was called a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

Councilmember Jennifer Robertson said, with the current value of land in Bellevue, the ability to create almost four acres of parkland is extremely valuable. The rest of the council agreed, citing benefits like transportation connections, park land, place making and economic development.

As further work is done on the project the council asked staff to look for potential outside grant availability to help funding, and to consider design work to create a smooth pathway for commuters riding bikes across the lid.

The council unanimously voted to direct staff to pursue alternative three, the Lid Park option.

Staff will now spend a significant portion of time in 2019 and 2020 on design, planning level cost estimates, and preliminary engineering. The environmental review will continue, and the city will continue engaging Washington State Department of Transportation, stakeholders, and the public on future discussions.

King also said efforts will also be made to seek partnerships and potential funding sources for the large scale civic investment.

More information is available on the city’s Grand Connection website www.bellevuegrandconnection.com.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

A top down view of the Lid Park concept that shows the pathway, plaza, and open space. Courtesy Image

A top down view of the Lid Park concept that shows the pathway, plaza, and open space. Courtesy Image

More in News

Courtesy City of Bellevue
Main water line break in Bellevue

The city has not identified any contamination to main water line

The Enumclaw Health and Rehabilitation Center, which is located by St. Elizabeth hospital, a senior living community, and a nursing home. File photo
Inslee lifts visitation ban at long-term care facilities

Starting Wednesday, a four-phase plan will allow restrictions at nursing homes to gradually be relaxed.

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok/Pexels
Bellevue reopens aquatic center

Swimmers must make reservations for pool use

King County Election headquarters in Renton on Aug. 4 for the primary election. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Inslee and Culp lead governor race; incumbent Dems ahead for Congress | Statewide results

Early results for governor, state schools chief, attorney general and more.

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Inslee mask graphic
Free mask event for King County residents, Aug. 4 in Bellevue

The drive-thru distribution event will offer two masks per person

Primary election 2020: Who will emerge as Inslee’s challenger?

Voting ends Tuesday in an election without big rallies and fund-raisers and face-to-face debates

Sex ed, local control at heart of race for WA state schools chief

Incumbent Chris Reykdal faces five foes who argue he’s pushing too many state policies on school districts.

Most Read