The traffic jam depicted in the photos to the left is a familiar scenario to I-405 drivers who drive through Bellevue and get onto 520. According to the WSDOT Blog, 60,000 vehicles drive that stretch and vie for positioning to get onto 520. Relief is on the way, and 9 months early to boot. This weekend, I-405 will be closed from NE Eighth Street to SR 520 starting at 11pm Friday, Sept. 23rd, and is scheduled to reopen at 4am, Monday, Sept. 26th. During this scheduled closure, the DOT will be completing the connection of new ramps from downtown Bellevue to I-405 and SR 520, which is part of the Bellevue Braids Project.
“Bottom line: You’re going to have to pay attention! Don’t think about that sock drawer. We’ll have more than 200 signs in and around Bellevue showing the way to go, but it may take you a few days to adjust to the change. If you slip up and follow old habits, you may end up in Kirkland when you wanted to go to Redmond. Once you’re used to it, we hope you’ll appreciate the improvements.” ~WSDOT Blog
When I-405 reopens bright and early on the 26th, it will be imperative to pay attention to the new signage (200+ !) directing the changes to 520 and 405 access in Bellevue. Drivers wanting to access SR 520 from downtown Bellevue will need to go to the new ramp at NE 10th Street which will take them directly to 520. Drivers wanting to access I-405 from downtown Bellevue will use the new, longer ramp at NE Eighth Street. Are you a mainline driver who accesses 520 from 405? Be prepared to exit onto 520 about one half mile earlier than the previous exit.
What are your thoughts about these road updates to Bellevue area? Are you excited to see how the traffic improves Monday morning?