Sound Transit, WSDOT break ground on Stride BRT project, NE 85th Interchange in Kirkland
NE 85th interchange will include an inline Stride station, expanded express toll lane access, and non-motorized improvements
Sound Transit, WSDOT, the City of Kirkland, and project partners today celebrated the start of construction of the Stride bus rapid transit project and the NE 85th interchange in Kirkland.
The I-405 Stride BRT project includes the S1 Line between Burien and Bellevue scheduled to open in 2028 and the S2 Line between Bellevue and Lynnwood scheduled to open in 2029. A third Stride BRT line between Shoreline and Bothell (S3) will also open in 2028.
BRT is part of Sound Transit’s 2016 voter-approved system expansion program, ST3. Stride will provide fast, reliable high-capacity transit service with connections to light rail in Bellevue, Tukwila, Shoreline and Lynnwood.
When Stride begins operating, trips between Bellevue and Burien will take approximately 40 minutes; trips between Lynnwood and Bellevue will take approximately 35 minutes; and trips between Shoreline and Bothell will take approximately 37 minutes. These travel times are an average of 20 minutes faster than current ST Express bus service in these areas.
“Stride will be a great new resource for transit riders, bringing more and more communities throughout the region into our high-capacity transit network,” said King County Executive and Sound Transit Board Chair Dow Constantine. “Launching this project is another step toward delivering on the vision voters approved with ST3 and will be an exciting step forward for the Puget Sound region.”
“It is so exciting to see this major regional transit hub beginning to come to life in Kirkland,” Claudia Balducci, King County Council member and Sound Transit System Expansion Committee Chair said. “From this location, people will be able to access the entire region whether you arrive here on foot, bicycle, car or bus. As Kirkland and the Eastside continue to grow and thrive, the partnership among WSDOT, Sound Transit and the City of Kirkland has been key to expediting delivery of this linchpin in our expanding transit network.”
As part of the I-405 BRT project, Sound Transit and WSDOT are building a redesigned NE 85th interchange, which will include an inline Stride station. The redesigned interchange will allow for improved transit access and direct access to express toll lanes, improving speed and reliability for I-405 travelers.
The interchange and BRT stop will open in 2026, before the S1 Line, to serve existing transit routes. Other elements of the project include pedestrian and bike access, a passenger pick-up and drop-off area, new stops for local transit service, and express toll lane direct access ramps.
“We’re grateful for the longstanding partnerships with Sound Transit, the City of Kirkland, community partners, and residents that have brought us to where we are today,” said Washington Secretary of Transportation and Sound Transit board member Roger Millar. “This project and the new Stride BRT system will help fill in the gaps in our state’s transit network and improve the reliability, safety performance, and efficiency of our multimodal transportation system. Breaking ground on this project is an important step towards creating a transportation system that works for all, regardless of how they choose to travel.”
“Breaking ground on this project represents a significant milestone towards achieving our multimodal vision for the I-405 corridor. This project will increase reliability, save time, and improve mobility for transit and express toll lane users,” said Lisa Hodgson, WSDOT I-405/SR 167 program administrator. “We look forward to continuing working with Sound Transit and Graham Contracting to ensure another successful project for this corridor.”
“A sustainable and equitable transportation network gives all our communities a wide range of mobility opportunities to meet our wide-ranging connection needs. Stride BRT is an integral piece of our expanding and interconnected regional transit system being built to bring more people to more places more effectively and more efficiently,” said Sound Transit CEO Julie Timm.
“The City of Kirkland has put in the hard work of preparing for this amazing project. We have envisioned what a walkable, equitable, sustainable, and completely transit-oriented neighborhood would look like. The City has taken various actions to ensure that this reimagined neighborhood surrounding the new BRT station will blossom with opportunities for affordable housing, park amenities, high-tech and family-wage jobs, commercial and retail services, and new school capacity,” said Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet. “Kirkland is all in on BRT and the incredible interchange that will make it possible. We will continue to be an ally and advocate in bringing this generational mobility infrastructure investment to life.”
More information about Stride BRT is at soundtransit.org/system-expansion/stride-bus-rapid-transit.
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