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‘New’ SR-520 project underway

Gov. Chris Gregoire joined legislators and local officials in a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday to celebrate the upcoming construction of the State Route 520 Eastside Transit and HOV Project. It is an important first step toward the rebuilding of the aging Evergreen Point Floating Bridge.

State transportation officials recently opened bids and the Eastside Corridor Constructors joint venture team emerged with the “best value proposal.” The team’s bid price of $306.3 million is nearly $116 million less than the state’s $422 million estimate for the project. A contract is expected to be awarded in coming weeks.

“This project will put people to work today, and get people to work faster in the future,” Gov. Gregoire said. “It’s a win-win for our economy and our roads, and replacing the vulnerable floating bridge is essential to our region.”

When completed, the Eastside project is expected to reduce travel times for buses and carpools, and improve safety, access and reliability in the corridor. Construction is expected to begin in early 2011.

The Eastside project is funded in part by toll revenue to be collected on the floating bridge starting in the spring of 2011. The Legislature set the SR-520 program budget at $4.65 billion for improvements from I-5 in Seattle to SR-202 in Redmond. Toll revenue and state and federal funds provide about $2.37 billion for the SR-520 improvements. WSDOT will continue to work with legislators to identify additional funding to complete improvements in the corridor.

The construction contract will include:

• Widening the corridor and constructing new transit and carpool lanes, shoulders and other facilities along 2.5 miles of SR-520 from west of Evergreen Point Road to east of 108th Avenue Northeast in Bellevue.

• Creating three landscaped lids over SR-520, two with access to new transit stops that will also be built as part of the project.

• Building newly aligned general purpose ramps and direct-access ramps for buses and carpools at 108th Avenue Northeast.

• Adding a regional path for bicycles and pedestrians.

• Constructing fish-passable culverts, stormwater-detention and treatment facilities, noise walls and stream and wetlands improvements.

Tolling pass options available

The WSDOT recently revealed its options for electronic tolling payments. Passes will be available in early 2011, which will work on all Good to Go! toll roads in the state.

With the new Good to Go! passes, drivers can purchase:

• Standard sticker pass: $5

• Standard moveable pass: $8

• Movable pass with on/off option: $12

• Motorcycle pass: $8

Learn more online at: www.wsdot.gov/goodtogo

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