Construction begins on I-90 Undercrossing

May 11, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

Backhoes clear ground May 7 for the new Interstate 90 Undercrossing in the 400 block of Northwest Gilman Boulevard as a postal carrier next door departs the Issaquah Post Office to deliver mail. By Greg Farrar

Construction started last week on the long-planned Interstate 90 Undercrossing, a road link meant to alleviate traffic congestion along Front Street North, Northwest Gilman Boulevard and other well-traveled Issaquah streets.

Crews will build a two-lane roadway from the traffic signal at the post office along Northwest Gilman Boulevard and link the road to the rail corridor behind Gilman Station. The road will form a T-shaped intersection at Southeast 62nd Street, continue along 221st Place Southeast and end at Southeast 56th Street.

The initial phase of construction requires overnight lane restrictions through May 14, as crews conduct utility work along Northwest Gilman Boulevard. Expect altered traffic patterns from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.

Crews started clearing land May 3. City Public Works Engineering Director Bob Brock said the undercrossing should take about five months to complete.

Planners said 29,000 vehicles use Northwest Gilman Boulevard each day. The city expects the undercrossing to remove 2,000 to 4,000 vehicles from the corridor. The city also estimates the undercrossing will handle 3,000 to 6,000 of the 49,000 vehicles using Front Street North each day.

Officials hope the connector will help alleviate traffic congestion at the state Route 900 interstate interchange as well.

In March, the City Council awarded a $1.46 million contract to a Kirkland company, MidMountain Contractors, to build the undercrossing and a 12-inch water line. Crews will add sidewalks, traffic signals and landscaping to the corridor. The project includes curb and gutter work, too.

Brock said city staffers also prepared a development agreement with a property owner in the undercrossing corridor to secure a right of way for additional improvements. City Council members could consider the agreement as early as May 17. Brock hopes to send the last piece of undercrossing out to contractors for bids next month.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

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