520 Groundbreaking

On Monday we dug a ceremonial set of shovels into the ground for the eastside portion of the 520 project. A contractor has been selected, the bid has been accepted (saved $116 million, about 25% under estimates) and the project will get under way.

The reality here is that they’ll start real construction in the spring, when we normally start big digging projects, but we have removed all the impediments to the project at this point.

We still have work to do to both close down the design and cement the funding for the west landing, from Foster Island to I-5. We are very close here, having approved Option A+ in the original set of options. We’re exploring details with King County and the City of Seattle at this point – arboretum exits, bus stops, etc.

I put out the following press release:

Rep. Ross Hunter (D-Medina) took part in the groundbreaking for the opening of the eastside portion of the 520 construction project.

“I’m very excited to see the 520 project up and running. I would’ve been happy to keep shoveling but everyone thought it was time to bring in the professionals instead,” said Hunter.

 The construction contract will include:

  • Widening the corridor and constructing new transit and carpool lanes, shoulders and other facilities along 2.5 miles of SR 520 from west of Evergreen Point Road to east of 108th Avenue NE in Bellevue.
  • Constructing three landscaped lids over SR 520, two with access to new transit stops that also will be built as part of the project.
  • Constructing newly aligned general purpose ramps and direct-access ramps for buses and carpools at 108th Avenue NE.
  • Adding a regional path for bicycles and pedestrians.
  • Constructing fish-passable culverts, stormwater detention and treatment facilities, noise walls, and stream and wetlands improvements.

It has taken more than a decade to get to this point. Rep. Hunter: “It was important to work out all the details, but I’m glad we were finally able to overcome the Seattle process paralysis and move forward with this critical project, a project that will create over 5000 family wage jobs.”

About the Author

Ross
I am the Director of the Department of Early Learning for Washington State. I formerly represented the 48th Legislative District in the State House of Representatives, chairing the Appropriations committee and spent many a year at Microsoft.