The reconfigured interchange and roadway improvements increase safety, reduce delays and improve access to and from Kirkland.
WSDOT is about ready to break ground on a project that may cause delays for many Kirkland commuters. Construction will restrict the Kirkland interchange at NE 116th Street and I-405 so it can be widened. Beginning in July, traffic on NE 116th Street to the south will be shifted, creating an area for crews to widen NE 116th Street. Doing so will temporarily reduce lanes from four to three. Be prepared for slower traffic during the morning and afternoon commutes.
The following is from the WSDOT website:
What the project builds The project constructs lanes on NE 116th Street and 120th Ave NE, rebuilds the bridge over the railroad, adds lighting and bicycle lanes, and improves pedestrian access. It also modifies the off-ramp from northbound I-405 and the on-ramp to southbound I-405 at NE 116th transforming it from a traditional interchange to a Single Point Urban Interchange or SPUI.
What’s a SPUI? A SPUI (pronounced “spooey”) is an interchange designed for better traffic flow. The on- and off-ramps converge at a single location controlled by one set of traffic signals at the center of the interchange. The bottom line is that drivers will wait for one less light sequence. In short, it will make traffic run a lot smoother and quicker.
Bicyclist and Pedestrians Bike riders and pedestrians will enjoy better lighting, wider sidewalks and a more aesthetically pleasing design under the overpass and near the intersection. Bicyclists will enjoy a continuous lane throughout the intersection and everyone will take pleasure from the red maples and native plants that will enhance the area.
The End Result Improved traffic flow, reduced congestion, shorter commute times and enhanced safety will be a trademark of this project once open to traffic in December of 2012. Until then, please slow down in the area, be patient and Give ‘em a Brake.