Chamber efforts help restore funding for 124th/SR 520 interchange project
The Chamber has some big news in the advocacy space — funding for the 124th/SR 520 project has been included in the draft budgets for both the House and the Senate! Our VP of Government Affairs, Jodie Alberts, testified multiple times on this issue, so we are thrilled to see the fruits of our labor as we conclude the fiscal year and head into the next biennium.
What is the 124th/SR 520 project?
Intended to reduce congestion at the I-405/SR 520 interchange, this project will build a new on-ramp to eastbound SR 520, as well as an off-ramp from westbound SR 520 at 124th Avenue Northeast. Effectively, this will allow westbound drivers to access downtown Bellevue by exiting onto 124th Avenue Northeast before reaching the I-405/SR 520 interchange.
How did we get here?
After the 2022 legislature allocated $20.7 million in the 21-23 biennium and $16 million in the 23-25 biennium to fund this project — and thus avoid delays due to right-of-way acquisition — the Governor’s budget ended up reducing said funding by $14.6 million for the 21-23 biennium, and pushing off all other funding until the 33-35 and 35-57 bienniums.
However, after calls to restore this funding from our Chamber and other stakeholders, both the House and Senate recently approved an allocation of $15M in the 2021-23 biennium and $21.6M in the 2023-25 biennium for this project’s design and right-of-way acquisition.
As WSDOT, the City of Bellevue, and other partners move forward with preliminary engineering and design, we will continue to voice our concerns — and excitement — while the project moves forward. Stay tuned for more good development news!