With several lanes of traffic going in both directions, Northeast Eighth Street in downtown Bellevue can be challenging to cross. The City of Bellevue has approved the installation of a pedestrian overpass connecting Lincoln Square Office Tower and Bellevue Place, which will provide an alternate crossing for the many shoppers, office workers and hotel guests walking in the area.
Construction is set to begin this weekend, and the city will close Eighth Street between Bellevue Way and 106th Avenue Northeast from 10 p.m., Saturday, to 6 a.m., Monday. Drivers and pedestrians will need to use either Northeast Fourth Street or Northeast 10th Street instead of Eighth. Detour signs and police officers will offer guidance.
The new pedestrian bridge, to be built by Kemper Development Company, will connect the second level of Lincoln Square to the second level of the office building at Bellevue Place. Unlike pedestrian spans in some cities, the new structure will be more of a graceful, open-air suspension bridge than a sealed tube.
Second of possibly eight pedestrian bridges
Approved by the City Council in September, the new pedestrian bridge is the second of up to eight that may be built in Bellevue. The first sky bridge in Bellevue was installed in August 2005, crossing Bellevue Way between Northeast Eighth and Northeast Sixth streets.
To ensure that these spans don't draw from the sidewalk activity vital to a thriving downtown, each new bridge must meet a public benefit test and adhere to design standards.
“If done properly and done in the right locations, pedestrian bridges have a benefit and help remove barriers on high-volume streets,” said Dan Stroh, Planning Director of the Bellevue Planning & Community Development Department.
The city has designated three downtown streets that carry high volumes of walkers – Bellevue Way, Northeast Fourth Street and Northeast Eighth Street – as good locations for pedestrian bridges.
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