Bellevue and six other Eastside communities endorse the replacement of the existing State Route 520 floating bridge with a new, six-lane span that would accommodate high-occupancy vehicles and a future mass transit system. The Bellevue Council formally signed onto the SR 520 Corridor and Bridge Replacement Improvements Policy Interest Statement in October 2006.
The other communities advocating the six-lane alternative in the statement are Redmond, Kirkland, Clyde Hill, Medina, Yarrow Point and Hunts Point. All pledged to work with the state to minimize neighborhood impacts caused by the improvements, including addressing noise impacts and developing a construction mitigation plan with state transportation officials.
The interest statement came shortly after the release by the state Department of Transportation of a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) indicating that a six-lane corridor would carry far more people than the four-lane alternative, with new high-occupany vehicle (HOV) lanes providing a key benefit. A copy of the DEIS and other documents related to the SR 520 Bridge and HOV Project are available on the Department of Transportation web page.
The Eastside communities' interest statement specified important components of the six-lane “preferred alternative,” including:
- Freeway-to-freeway HOV connections at the points where SR 520 meets Interstate 5 and Interstate 405.
- Direct transit access at 108th Avenue Northeast, provided that existing regional bus service levels are not impaired.
- A bridge and freeway corridor designed and sized to incorporate high-capacity transit (HCT), with adequate right of way and a reconstructed east high-rise that could support HCT infrastructure.
- Retention of bus transit flyer stops between the State Route 520 Bridge and Interstate 405, as long as high-capacity transit can be accommodated in the future.
- A bicycle and pedestrian path running the length of State Route 520, from Interstate 5, across the bridge, to State Route 202.