Engineers break ground on new interchange at I-405 in Kirkland

KIRKLAND, Wash. — Governor Inslee introduced a major traffic improvement that is coming to a Kirkland interchange at Interstate 405, which is expected to make it easier for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians to travel and even salmon to move around.

Washington State Department of Transportation engineers and Inslee broke ground on a new half-diamond interchange project at I-405 and Northeast 132nd Street.

The project will give drivers a more convenient new option to access the interstate.

The project will also allow for a better connection between communities on both sides of the freeway.

A new on-ramp to northbound I-405 and a new off-ramp from southbound I-405 at Northeast 132nd Street will be built.

Two roundabouts promise to keep traffic flowing.

A sidewalk and bike lanes will also be built, along with stream remediation that will correct a salmon barrier, which will replace an old culvert with 3,000 feet of new upstream habitat.

“We all understand that we’re having congestion cause we’re a growing state. That means we have to build and so we’re building. And we’re building here, not just one thing or two things, but four or five things. More access to 405. Eventually rapid bus transit. More bike lanes. More safe ways to walk and salmon habitat the whole time. We want a state where you can get to work with convenience, with safety and know there’s gonna be salmon in our rivers. This does all those things,” Insee said.

The project is expected to take the next three summers to complete but officials promise to keep traffic moving during construction.