The proposed Forward Washington transportation package unveiled this week contains several key infrastructure projects in the city of Bellevue to address ongoing growth that is only expected to increase in the future. However, some city stakeholders are arguing that the package should include even more projects related to the Interstate 405 corridor.
The $15 billion package projects located in Bellevue include a State Route 520 interchange in Bellevue and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail, a.k.a. “Bellevue Gap.”
City officials have noted Bellevue enormous population growth since 2000, when only 2,421 residents lived in downtown. That population is now estimated to be 14,200. With companies like Amazon and Facebook setting up shop, the city anticipates an additional 30,000 jobs by 2025.
Testifying in favor of the package at a Senate Transportation Committee April 6 work session, Bellevue City Councilmember Jennifer Robertson “with that grow comes immense pressure. We must tackle these challenges.”
However, Eastside Transportation Association (ETA) Co-Chair Todd Woosley argued at the work session that the package should include four projects related to the I-405 masterplan. He added that $500 million worth of projects would constitute a “down payment” on the other $5 billion in unfunded projects.
ETA Co-Chair Vic Bishop made similar remarks, saying that although he supported the package, adding these projects would provide better access to downtown Bellevue and State Route 520.