City Councilman Grant Degginger joined Gov. Chris Gregoire and local elected officials today in a groundbreaking ceremony for the SR 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project.
SR 520 is a vital transportation and economic link across Lake Washington for the Eastside. Degginger and other Bellevue City Council members have worked closely with the Governor's office, regional leaders and the cities of Redmond, Kirkland, Clyde Hill, Medina, Yarrow Point and Hunts Point in support of improvements to the corridor.
"This milestone has been made possible, in part, by the patience, collaboration and teamwork demonstrated by Eastside cities," Degginger said. "They reached consensus on a design, and partnered with the Governor, Legislature, business leaders and labor groups throughout the region to move the SR 520 project forward."
Bellevue continues to collaborate with the state Department of Transportation (WSDOT) on the project. The project, expected to start early next year, will include widening the corridor and adding 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 Northeast in Bellevue. The Eastside Transit and HOV Project does not include construction of a new 520 bridge.
Other improvements are constructing three landscaped lids over SR 520, two with access to new transit stops; building direct-access ramps for buses and carpools at 108th Avenue Northeast; adding a regional path for bicycles and pedestrians; and constructing fish-passable culverts, storm water-detention facilities, noise walls and wetlands improvements.
When completed, the project is expected to reduce travel times for buses and carpools and improve safety, access and reliability in the corridor. Construction is expected to begin in early 2011. The SR 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project will also create hundreds of jobs to strengthen the regional economy.
"This project will put people to work today, and get people to work faster in the future," Gov. Gregoire said. "It's a win-win for our economy and our roads, and replacing the vulnerable floating bridge is essential to our region."
WSDOT recently opened bids and the Eastside Corridor Constructors joint venture team emerged with the apparent best value proposal. The team's bid price of $306.3 million is nearly $116 million less than the state’s $422 million estimate for the project. A contract is expected to be awarded in the coming weeks.
"It's great to be here and show that the regions have come together to support this project. Working with the Governor, Legislature and WSDOT, we are united in improving our transportation system to meet our needs now and into the future," said state Rep. Judy Clibborn, from Mercer Island, chairwoman of the House Transportation Committee.
To view a news release from WSDOT on the groundbreaking, visit http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/News/2010/10/25_SR520EastsideGroundBreaking.htm. Additional information about the SR 520 Program and the Eastside Transit and HOV Project is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr520bridge.
Return to News Release Index