SEATTLE - At an open house in Seattle, experts from the State Department of Transportation were fielding questions from residents of the city's Montlake neighborhood, worried that the final design to connect the new 520 bridge with Montlake will create more traffic and congestion.

It solves the problem of getting cars off of 520, said Fran Conley of the Coalition for a Sustainable 520, but since there is no place or them to go it creates a big mess.

WSDOT engineers have done studies which show some choke points could see an increase of 120 vehicles per hour in some spots, but overall the impact on the neighborhood should be minimal.

A lot of traffic doesn't change with this next phase of construction, said Daniel Babuca, Engineering Manager for the western edge of the massive 520 expansion and bridge replacement.

A Seattle City Council committee has already signed off on the design, and the full council is expected to rubber stamp the design in a vote scheduled for Monday.

Construction on the western edge of the project is not scheduled to start until sometime next year. Conley hopes if her group makes enough noise some changes can be made to curb some of the extra noise she claims will come with project.

The state hopes to someday find $1.4 billion dollars to fully complete the Seattle side of the project which would include covering some of the freeway with lids, much like Interstate 90 on Mercer Island, completing the rebuilding of one of the state's busiest roads from I-5 all the way to Redmond.

Read or Share this story: