Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for visiting the I-405/NE 132nd Street Interchange Project online open house! The comment period for the online open house has closed. Below are answers to frequently asked questions we received. If you have additional questions about the project, please contact Hannah Britt at [email protected]t.wsdot.wa.gov.

When will the project be constructed and how long will it take?

Construction is estimated to begin in 2021 and open to traffic in 2023. This is a design-build project, which means that WSDOT will hire a contractor to do the final design and construction for cost certainty and schedule efficiencies. Once WSDOT chooses a design-build contractor, the contractor will set a more detailed construction schedule. WSDOT will work with the City of Kirkland to schedule any road closures. Please check the project webpage for updates.

Why isn’t a northbound off-ramp or a southbound on-ramp included in the project?

The proximity of Northeast 124th Street and the direct access ramps at Northeast 128th Street prevent constructing ramps to and from the south at the future Northeast 132nd Street interchange. The Totem Lake area has several interchanges to provide freeway access within a short distance. The nearby interchange at Northeast 124th Street provides access to both directions of I-405.

Why did WSDOT choose roundabouts for this location?

Roundabouts promote a continuous flow of traffic through an intersection. Without traffic signals, drivers do not have to wait for a green light, so the intersection can move more traffic in the same amount of time and reduce congestion on approaching roads.

 

Because of their ability to better manage traffic flow, roundabouts require fewer approaching lanes than a signalized intersection would. A signalized intersection design would require seven lanes under I-405 to accommodate the additional traffic and turning movements from the new I-405 ramps. The roundabout design requires only four lanes under I-405. This smaller footprint minimizes the impact to nearby property owners while efficiently handling greater volumes of traffic.

 

In general, roundabouts provide better safety performance than traditional stop sign or signalized intersections. Drivers must slow down and yield to traffic before entering a roundabout, which means that collisions in a roundabout occur at low speeds. There are also fewer conflict points between pedestrians and vehicles in intersections with roundabouts.

How can the roundabouts accommodate traffic at the new interchange?

Roundabouts promote a continuous flow of traffic through an intersection. Without traffic signals, drivers do not have to wait for a green light, so the intersection can move more traffic in the same amount of time. WSDOT designed the roundabouts to accommodate current traffic volumes and anticipated future growth.

How will large vehicles navigate the roundabouts?

Roundabouts are designed to accommodate vehicles of all sizes, including emergency vehicles, buses and semitrucks. The roundabouts will include a truck apron, which is a raised section of pavement around the center island that acts as extra space for large vehicles. Learn more about oversize vehicles and roundabouts on the WSDOT roundabouts webpage.

Will this project increase traffic on Northeast 132nd Street and surrounding local streets?

Travel patterns in the Totem Lake area will change. However, overall traffic is not projected to increase because of this project. WSDOT’s analysis shows that this project will reduce the pressure of I-405 trips at Northeast 124th Street and Northeast 160th Street as travelers use the new interchange. Some areas may see traffic increases or decreases, depending on where travelers come from. WSDOT accounted for these traffic changes in the interchange design, and they are incorporated in the City of Kirkland’s plans for improvements along Northeast 132nd Street.

 

For more information about improvements on local streets, please visit the City of Kirkland’s webpage or contact Dave Snider, City of Kirkland Capital Projects Manager.

Does the traffic analysis for this project include future development in the Totem Lake area?

Yes, the traffic analysis accounts for planned growth in the area, including the planned expansion of the Kingsgate Park and Ride.

What are the anticipated changes at the Kingsgate Park and Ride?

The Sound Transit 3 (ST3) funding package includes constructing a parking garage at the current location, which Sound Transit anticipates opening in 2024. WSDOT is coordinating with Sound Transit, King County Metro and the City of Kirkland on the Kingsgate Park and Ride expansion and the potential for transit-oriented development at this site. Sound Transit is in the early stages of design. For more information, visit Sound Transit’s I-405 Bus Rapid Transit webpage.

What types of bicycle and pedestrian design elements is the project providing?

This project will build sidewalks and bicycle lanes along both sides of Northeast 132nd Street. A planter strip will provide a buffer between the motorized and the non-motorized traffic along both sides of Northeast 132nd Street. The plan includes flashing lights at multilane roundabout crosswalks. WSDOT coordinated with City of Kirkland staff and the Kirkland Transportation Commission on the bicycle and pedestrian design elements, understanding the area includes nearby schools.

How does WSDOT coordinate with the City of Kirkland on this project?

WSDOT has been working closely with the City of Kirkland and other cities and agencies throughout the corridor since the late 1990s on I-405 corridor improvements. The I-405/NE 132nd Street Interchange Project is part of the I-405 Master Plan, which is a multimodal, multiagency plan with a set of more than 150 individual, but coordinated, projects to get more people moving through the I-405 corridor.

 

WSDOT continues to coordinate with the City of Kirkland and transit agencies on improvements focused on the growth in the Totem Lake area. For more information about improvements on local streets, please visit the City of Kirkland’s webpage or contact Dave Snider, City of Kirkland Capital Projects Manager.