June 25, 2001
Plans to relieve the gridlock at SR522/SR202 are underway in a cooperative plan by the city of Woodinville, city of Bothell and the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Mick Monken, Public Works director for the city of Woodinville, presented a proposal at the Woodinville Chamber of Commerce luncheon last Thursday for a new roadway and connections west of the existing SR522/SR202 Woodinville interchange (by Dairy Queen).
The proposal would provide a new connection between East Riverside Drive over SR522 to NE 180th Street near Home Depot. Improvements would be made to make East Riverside Drive a five-lane road. The proposal would include a non-motorized connection to the Burke-Gilman Trail. The intersection of SR202, NE127th Place and East Riverside Drive (by McCorry's) would be redesigned with a light.
A study will begin soon to determine the best solution for the design which could include an overpass only or an overpass with a direct connection to I-405.
According to Monken a 1999 traffic study found that the SR522/SR202 had the highest congestion in the area.
"With the entering traffic count for the intersection in 1998 at 38,000 and now two years later at 50,000, we need to look at alternatives," said Monken.
Monken gave a traffic overview with statistics that showed Seattle drivers spend an average of 53 hours waiting in traffic each year. In 1983 it was 19 hours, he said.
"In 1999 the lost cost for congestion alone wwas $1.8 billion per year. The waste in gasoline was about 81 gallons per person per year," Monken added.