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Washington DOT Awards Walsh Construction a $68M Contract for New Reversible Transit Connection

SEATTLE, WA — People who use transit between South Lake Union and the Eastside can look forward to a dedicated lane connecting State Route 520 and the Interstate 5 express lanes in a few years. The Washington State Department of Transportation announces that Walsh Construction submitted the lowest bid for building the State Route 520 I-5 Express Lanes Connection Project. The winning price proposal was $68,052,246.

“We’re excited to work with Walsh to build this next piece of the SR 520 Program,” said Program Administrator Omar Jepperson. “When complete, this project will provide a reliable transit link between the region’s major employment centers in Seattle’s South Lake Union and the Eastside via SR 520.”

The project will extend SR 520’s new transit/HOV system to I-5 by providing a reversible connection between SR 520 and the I-5/Mercer Street interchange via the I-5 Express lanes. The new reversible lane will work in concert with the I-5 express lanes. When the I-5 express lanes are operating in the northbound direction, the new ramp will connect to eastbound SR 520. The new ramp will connect westbound SR 520 vehicles to the I-5 express lanes when they are operating in the southbound direction.

Construction is expected to begin this summer and wrap up in late 2023. The contract includes:

  • Building a reversible transit/HOV ramp between SR 520 and the I-5 express lanes
  • Restriping I-5 express lanes while adding a reversible transit/HOV lane between the I-5/SR 520 interchange and Mercer Street
  • Modifying an existing ramp for reversible operations between the I-5 express lanes and Mercer Street

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