South Downtown I-405 Access Study Online Open House

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Consultation has concluded

Map of the study area in south downtown Bellevue. The study area extends to Northeast Second Street to the north, 112th Avenue Southeast to the west, south of Southeast Eighth Street to the south and Lake Hills Connector to the east. The map also includes the planning Link light rail and station, Grand Connection, Lake to Lake greenway trails and King County’s Eastrail

8/21/2020: Open house now closed. Thank you for the comments; a summary will be published on the site.


Welcome to the South Downtown I-405 Access Study online open house! Bellevue continues to grow, with the new East Main light rail station opening in 2023 and plans for development south of downtown and in the Wilburton area. The City of Bellevue is working to address traffic congestion and help people get where they need to go, whether they are walking, biking, riding transit or driving.

The city is partnering with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to study a new I-405 interchange between Northeast Second Street and Southeast Eighth Street.

Use this online open house to learn about the study and interchange alternatives we are considering. Please give your feedback by August 21.

Map of the study area in south downtown Bellevue. The study area extends to Northeast Second Street to the north, 112th Avenue Southeast to the west, south of Southeast Eighth Street to the south and Lake Hills Connector to the east. The map also includes the planning Link light rail and station, Grand Connection, Lake to Lake greenway trails and King County’s Eastrail

8/21/2020: Open house now closed. Thank you for the comments; a summary will be published on the site.


Welcome to the South Downtown I-405 Access Study online open house! Bellevue continues to grow, with the new East Main light rail station opening in 2023 and plans for development south of downtown and in the Wilburton area. The City of Bellevue is working to address traffic congestion and help people get where they need to go, whether they are walking, biking, riding transit or driving.

The city is partnering with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to study a new I-405 interchange between Northeast Second Street and Southeast Eighth Street.

Use this online open house to learn about the study and interchange alternatives we are considering. Please give your feedback by August 21.

Consultation has concluded

The study team will review and consider community feedback as we work to identify a preferred alternative.

If you have questions about the South Downtown I-405 Access Study or community engagement process, ask it here. A staff member will review all questions and post responses here.

Thank you for stopping by our online open house and sharing your feedback! Visit the study website to learn more.


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    While this question is not exactly directly related to the alternatives being considered, it does have a connection: Given the desire to create a more direct connection between East and West Bellevue (with the grand connection), is there a way to better connect (even if it is just pedestrian access) 108th and 112th south of Main Street?

    rsilvers asked over 2 years ago

    We appreciate your question. You may aware that on the south side of Main Street a 12-foot wide multipurpose path is planned, and parts of this path are under construction.  This path will be substantially complete prior to East Link operations - a few gaps in the path may remain where private redevelopment is not complete (although a complete sidewalk will exist). Additionally, the East Main Station Area Plan includes a concept of constructing a pedestrian overpass or underpass of the light rail from the residential neighborhood to 112th Avenue SE in the vicinity of Surrey Downs Park and SE 6th Street. There are some challenges to extend this concept all the way to 108th Ave SE due to existing land development and lack of public right-of-way.

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    More roads means more cars. More cars means more congestion. More cars and more congestion mean more emissions. "Build it and they will come" and if you only build roads, only cars will come. So if the focus is on moving people, why are all the options focused on moving cars?

    Jerrold asked over 2 years ago

    Hi Jerrold - We appreciate sharing your thoughts. Although this study focuses on identifying a preferred alternative to improve vehicle access to I-405, all the alternatives that include east-west connections propose bike lanes and sidewalks. 

    This access study is part of city’s comprehensive approach to planning and implementing multimodal transportation systems to serve it residences and businesses. There are many other nonmotorized solutions being developed and implemented. For example, the Grand Connection project, begins at the waterfront of Lake Washington at Meydenbauer Bay Park, extending through Bellevue’s dynamic downtown and ultimately connecting with the regional Eastrail in the Wilburton commercial area. The lake-to-lake trail, another major nonmotorized project, connects nine parks across Bellevue between Weowna Park next to Lake Sammamish and Meydenbauer Beach Park on Lake Washington.  East Link Light Rail that is currently under construction is the result of many years of collaboration between the community, city, its neighboring jurisdictions, and Sound Transit. Service begins in 2023. 

    If you want more information about The Grand Connection, Eastrail or the Lake-to-Lake trail, you can search those titles on the city's website at BellevueWA.gov

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    I've reviewed all 6 of your alternatives. This doesn't appear to be truly examining all the possibilities. Nowhere in here do you offer or even examine ramps at Main St which I think is a better alternative than any of the ideas you are proposing. Why aren't you examining this alternative? Rather than bias the results, why don't you post this alternative along with its advantages and disadvantages like all others and get public feedback on it? It is intellectually dishonest to exclude this from a scientific analysis.

    David asked over 2 years ago

    Hi David,

    Thank you for your question. A Main Street option was identified in the state Department of Transportation’s I-405 Master Plan and further considered early in this I-405 Access Study. This alternative was dropped because it was not consistent with the city’s Comprehensive Plan and policies.

    The study process includes a two-tiered screening process. Tier 1 “fatal flaw” screening looked at consistency with the City’s Comprehensive Plan and policies, consistency with federal and state policies, including WSDOT’s I-405 Master Plan and constructability.

    The Main Street option was deemed inconsistent with the following Comprehensive Plan policies:

    • Policy LU-28.1: Provide for a mix of housing, office, service and retail uses in a compact walkable development pattern that optimizes the benefits of transit investment in Bellevue’s transit-oriented development areas.
    • Policy LU-28.2: Provide walking and bicycle routes in the station area that are accessible, safe and convenient, and that connect to destinations, transit and surrounding bicycle and pedestrian networks. 
    • Policy S-SW-49: Prioritize pedestrian and bicycle movement as the primary means of travel within the station area.
    • Policy S-SW-54: Support improved non-motorized connections on Main Street to the Wilburton neighborhood and the Eastside Rail Corridor. 
    • Policy S-SW-69: Support a future corridor design for Main Street that emphasizes safety and aspects of the character of the Old Bellevue district such as wide sidewalks, planter strips, shade trees and lighting.


    For more detailed background, please see the I-405 Access Study Overview: https://bellevuewa.gov/sites/default/files/media/pdf_document/2020/South%20Downtown%20I-405%20Access%20Study%20Overview-WEB.pdf.

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    The city is growing in three different places: South Downtown Bellevue, East Bellevue and Factoria/Tech Corridor. I-405 and the light rail are the main arteries to get people in and out of those areas. Access to and from Factoria/Tech corridor was left out of the Downtown Bellevue-centric master plan. Traffic to/from Factoria is filtered through Downtown, 116 and Lake Hills connector. Can we use this opportunity to correct the connection from I-405 Southbound to Wilburton and Lake Hills connector as well as from Wilburton to I-405 Southbound?

    Konrad asked over 2 years ago
    Thanks for question. Several of the alternatives under consideration are expected to improve access to and from Wilburton. These alternatives include the NE 2nd/NE 4th Streets one-way couplet concept, the southbound on-ramp from Lake Hills Connector/116th Ave NE, and the SE 6th Street extension with inside connection to/from I-405 south. In addition to this specific study, the city will start a citywide transportation improvement planning effort within the next year or so. It will be a more ideal way to identify and analyze broader transportation solutions beyond this limited access study area.
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    Why your maps do not show existing I-405 connection from SE 8th st in Wilburton? It would help visualize impact of proposed new connections. Or it going to be closed as part of rail system development?

    Oleg asked over 2 years ago
    Thank you for the suggestion - we've heard this from others and are working to modify the map to show the existing northbound off-ramp to Lake Hills Connector.
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    If the concern is growth to the south of Main Street prompted by the East Main station and the downtown generally overflowing in that direction, have you considered investing to beef up the SE 8th interchange? Like to a full cloverleaf with 2 on/off lanes in each direction? I guess I'm skeptical that additional onsey-twosey ramps to NE 2nd, 4th, 6th can really solve the problem you're trying to solve.

    Cosmos asked over 2 years ago

    Hi Cosmos - Thank you so much for your follow up question. 

    A key component of this study is to evaluate how different alternatives may perform using traffic modeling and simulation tools. Those alternatives that don’t perform well will be dropped from further consideration as the study progresses.

    Although East Main area is expected to undergo significant redevelopment, the majority of planned growth is located in Downtown and Wilburton. The majority of new demand is expected to come from these areas.

    A cloverleaf interchange typically works under low volume conditions. When volume increases, the merge and wave on the short sections between on- and off-ramps not only create safety issues, but also severely restricts traffic flow. Because of these reasons, many cloverleaf interchanges have been reconstructed to mitigate these problems.

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    how do we see what other people have said about the various alternatives?

    geoffhazel asked over 2 years ago

    Hi Geoff - Great question and probably one that others may be thinking about. Once the open house ends, it will take some time to pull together a summary of comments. We plan to post the summary on this site in September. Thanks for your patience.