Sullivan: I-405 expansion to widen freeway in Bothell is underway

Apr 16, 2024, 6:27 AM | Updated: 9:04 am

I-405 expansion...

The I-405 expansion in Washington state will create direct access ramps to toll lanes at State Route 522. (Photo courtesy WSDOT)

(Photo courtesy WSDOT)

We’ve all seen the Interstate 405 (I-405) expansion between Bellevue and Redmond, but construction to widen the freeway north of Bothell is now underway as well.

The state is widening both directions of 405 from about 160th at the north end of Kirkland to Highway 527 in Canyon Park. The new lane in each direction will be added to the existing one-lane express toll lane.

This spot is where my kazoo got its start because the tolls could not keep up with the amount of cars on that stretch of I-405. The toll lane continues to hit the $15 max nearly every day there because it’s so crowded.

More from Chokepoints: Nine-day closure coming to Lower Spokane Street Bridge

This expansion will also come with a redesigned 405/522 interchange to help manage the flow there. The Washington Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Craig Smiley said there isn’t a lot of room to make huge changes there.

“That interchange at 522 has a lot of constraints,” he said. “There’s a lot of flyover bridges and different things going on there. You got the Sammamish Slough, so it’s really a challenge to get additional capacity through there.”

But WSDOT plans to move some of those ramps. Drivers have noticed all the trees being removed on the east side of the freeway recently.

“We’ll be adding additional capacity from that northbound to eastbound ramp that’s been a challenge for a long time,” Smiley said. “That will have some additional capacity there and hopefully help out with that movement.”

Contractors will also be doing some other work on the corridor as well.

“We’re taking care of some of those culverts that don’t allow fish to go underneath the freeway,” Smiley said. “That’s a pretty big part of the project, and it also builds structures and bus rapid transit stations so infrastructure to support Bus Rapid Transit.”

To make this all happen, there are going to be a bunch of road and ramp closures during the project. The first was last weekend. There will be another one this weekend on Highway 522.

WSDOT’s Lauren Penning said all eastbound lanes near 405 will be closed to create a work zone.

More from Sullivan: It’s not the whole enchilada, but light rail to roll on Eastside this month

“It’ll be 10 p.m. on Friday, April 19 to 4 a.m. Monday, April 22,” she said. “We’ll have all eastbound 522 closed and one lane of westbound right by the I-405 interchange there.”

For drivers heading east out of downtown Bothell who want to head into Woodinville, you’re going to have to use a detour to get there.

“Drivers heading eastbound will be detoured off onto southbound 405 to take the northeast 160th street exit,” Penning said. “You will cross over the freeway and then get on north 405 and continue at the 522 interchange.”

Don’t expect much relief over the short term. This $834 million expansion isn’t set to finish until 2028.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints here. You can also follow Chris on X, formerly known as TwitterHead here to follow KIRO Newsradio Traffic’s profile on X.


Photo: A Washington State ferry pulls up to the dock on March 29, 2020 in Edmonds, Washington....

Julia Dallas

Why were Washington ferries out of service this weekend?

It's been a tough Memorial Day weekend for those using Washington ferries as many travelers have been faced with cancellations.

10 hours ago

Image: Traffic on Interstate 5 passes through downtown on Nov. 28, 2013, in Seattle. Seattle, locat...

Steve Coogan

The holiday weekend is here, but traffic still could slow drivers down

AAA notes that traveling by car is appealing for many during a holiday weekend because of the flexibility it provides. But it brings traffic.

2 days ago

sound transit violent attacks...

Chris Sullivan

Sound Transit CEO on recent violent attacks: It’s ‘my job to restore confidence’ in public transit

Just how concerned are you about your safety while riding the light rail? Three violent attacks this year have many people concerned about crime on the trains.

4 days ago

Image: Members of the community hold oversized scissors as part of a ceremony to mark the completio...

Chris Sullivan

Sullivan: Oversized scissors, shovels used to celebrate I-405 project progress

The Washington State Department of Transportation used big scissors and more to celebrate the Interstate 405 project north of Bellevue.

6 days ago

Photo: Alaska Airlines planes at Sea-Tac Airport....

Julia Dallas

Why was Sea-Tac Airport so busy Sunday? Will it get worse?

Warmer weather means a busy summer travel season is ahead. Visitors may find longer than usual lines at Sea-Tac Airport and delays.

7 days ago

Image: Interstate 5 north in Everett was shut down and blocked on Thursday, May 16, 2024. The closu...

Steve Coogan

I-5 north in Everett reopens after officer-involved shooting left suspect dead

Interstate 5 north in Everett at US 2 reopened late Thursday after an officer-involved shooting left one suspect dead.

10 days ago

Sullivan: I-405 expansion to widen freeway in Bothell is underway