I-90/Front Street Interchange Justification Report

I-90 Front Street Interchange Justification Report map

Study news

  • The third IJR support team meeting will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, in the Eagle Room at Issaquah City Hall.
  • WSDOT’s study team is actively working with local jurisdictions and in the field to collect and analyze current traffic data.
     

Overview

Travel through the I-90/Front Street interchange during peak times can be challenging. Vehicles using the eastbound off-ramp sometimes backup onto I-90. Nearby streets also can experience severe congestion with cars trying to get through the intersections near the interchange or waiting to get onto or off I-90. The Washington State Legislature allocated funding in 2017 for WSDOT to study potential improvements to the I-90/Front Street interchange area in Issaquah. 

Why is WSDOT studying the I-90, Front Street interchange?

Commercial and residential development, as well as the population, in Issaquah and surrounding areas of King County are expected to grow substantially by 2040. This will add more traffic to the I-90/Front Street interchange, a key access point for local residents and commuters. The interchange already experiences severe congestion during peak commute times, which has significant effects on both mainline I-90 as well as Issaquah’s surface streets.

WSDOT is working with local agency partners and other stakeholders to determine the potential causes of congestion, analyze potential alternatives to alleviate it and, if data supports the need for interchange improvement, we will document it in an Interchange Justification Report (IJR). An IJR is a study that analyzes proposed or existing access points to freeways and highways in Washington State. The IJR will be supported by technical studies of local traffic movement and potential future uses of the interchange. The current effort will also consider alternatives, environmental factors, and planning level cost estimates.

Support team

A support team has been formed to provide feedback and direction about potential interchange improvements that address the area’s needs. This support team is made up of representatives from the following agencies:

  • WSDOT
  • City of Issaquah
  • City of Sammamish
  • City of Renton
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Puget Sound Regional Council
  • King County
  • Sound Transit

The end result

The final study will help the community and Legislature plan and decide about future projects and funding to improve the I-90/Front Street interchange.

Needs & benefits

  • Stakeholders: Representatives from local jurisdictions and agencies will provide feedback and direction about potential intersection improvements that reflect the area’s needs and coordinates with the local road projects.  
  • Informs future decisions: WSDOT will provide this study to the legislature as a tool to help it make decisions about the future of the interchange.

Timeline

Late 2017: WSDOT formed a project support team to assist in development of potential future improvements.
Early 2018: Stakeholder input and development of design options.
Mid 2018: Analysis of potential design options.
Late 2018/early 2019: Select preferred alternative.
Mid 2019: Final study delivered to the Legislature.

Funding

The Legislature allocated $2.3 million in the 2017-2019 biennium for this study through the 2015 Connecting Washington funding package. 

Funding is currently only available for the initial study. Any future environmental analysis, design, and construction phases will need to be funded through additional legislative action.

Contact

Adam Emerson
Project Manager
(206) 440-4279
EmersoA@wsdot.wa.gov

Dennis Sandstrom
Communications
(206) 922-6231
SandsDe@wsdot.wa.gov