Road-access work begins for campuses in Bothell
Work on a long-awaited new access route to the University of Washington, Bothell and Cascadia Community College starts this week, opening...
Seattle Times Eastside bureau
Work on a long-awaited new access route to the University of Washington, Bothell and Cascadia Community College starts this week, opening the door to more than tripling enrollment at both schools.
The $50.7 million project will develop a south approach to the schools from Highway 522 and allow enrollment to expand from the current 3,000 students to 10,000 full-time students by about 2025. The project is expected to be finished in 2010.
The groundbreaking will be celebrated on campus at noon Thursday.
Construction of the access route, approved by the Department of Transportation in January, will resolve traffic issues that have affected the campuses for years. It includes substantial changes to an exit from I-405 to Highway 522 that now forces drivers to slow suddenly and go through a series of bends to get into Bothell.
The limited access to the campuses resulted in the lid on enrollment. In 2000, the city of Bothell agreed the two campuses could be built at the northwest corner of the I-405 and Highway 522 interchange, provided their combined enrollment was restricted to 3,000 until new access roads were built.
The project is being built by Mowat Construction and includes widening Highway 522 west of I-405, adding a new southbound lane to the I-405 offramp to westbound Highway 522 and creating a signaled entrance to the south end of the campus. The work will also entail building a crossover bridge to Kaysner Way at the south end of the campus.
The project is expected to greatly reduce the number of vehicles reaching the campuses via city streets and along Beardslee Boulevard, now the main roadway to the schools.
A design for the new entrance to the campuses will be shown at the Thursday ceremony, and tours of the schools will be offered. Representatives from the state Department of Transportation, the Legislature, the city and the UW will be present and the UW Husky pep band and Husky cheerleaders will perform.
The event will be held at the North Creek Events Center on Campus Way Northeast, just west of I-405 at Exit 24 in Bothell.
Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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