I-90 Two-Way Transit Project

Image of I-90 bridge

The I-90 Two-Way Transit & HOV Operations project will improve regional mobility by providing safe and reliable two-way transit on I-90 between Bellevue and Seattle. WSDOT and Sound Transit are collaborating on this project to provide full-time HOV lanes for eastbound and westbound traffic on the outer I-90 roadways and new direct-access ramps for transit and HOVs on Mercer Island and in Bellevue. This project prepares the center roadway for the future East Link Extension.

The project is being implemented in stages due to timing and availability of funding.

Project highlights

Location: Eastbound and westbound I-90 between Rainier Avenue S in Seattle and 80th Avenue SE in Mercer Island

Current project phase: Phase 3 construction

Budget: $223 million

Planning partners: Sound Transit, City of Mercer Island, City of Seattle, Washington State Department of Transporation and King County Metro Transit

Project phases

I-90 Express Lanes Closure

In mid-2017, the I-90 express lanes will close to vehicle traffic to allow for construction of East Link light rail extension. New mainline HOV lanes between Mercer Island and Seattle will open when the express lanes close.

For more information, please visit this website: http://wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/I90/TwoWayTransit/ExpressLanesClosure.htm

Stage 1: Completed in October 2008

  • Added a new HOV lane in the westbound I-90 outer roadway between Mercer Island and Bellevue.
  • Built a new HOV direct access ramp at 80th Ave SE.
  • Modified the pre-existing Bellevue Way HOV direct access ramps for two-way transit operations.

Stage 2: Completed in March 2012

  • Mercer Island's 80th Ave SE ramp now functions as an on-ramp to the eastbound I-90 outer roadway for carpools and buses only with direct access to a new HOV lane to Bellevue.
  • Provided an HOV lane on eastboound I-90 between Mercer Island and Bellevue.
  • Modified the existing reversible HOV ramp at 80th Ave SE on Mercer Island to a HOV on-ramp connecting directly to the new eastbound HOV lane.
  • Extended the eastbound I-90 to I-405 auxiliary lane and modified the Bellevue Way and I-405 HOV direct access from the eastbound HOV lane.

Stage 3A: Construction finished in May 2015.

  • Reconstructed and repositioned the HOV ramps from eastbound I-90 to Bellevue Way and I-405

Stage 3: Construction began in January 2015 and is expected to be complete in mid-2017

  • Adds an HOV lane to the I-90 outer roadways in both directions between Rainier Avenue S in Seattle and 80th Avenue SE in Mercer Island.
  • Makes improvements to the fire and life safety systems in the Mt. Baker tunnel and the Mercer Island lid.
  • Preserves pavement in both directions of I-90 between I-5 to Lake Washington.
  • Builds an eastbound HOV direct-access exit ramp at Island Crest Way on Mercer Island.

* Construction schedule subject to change

For detailed construction updates, visit the Washington State Department of Transportation website: wsdot.wa.gov/projects/i90/twowaytransit/.