City Council Members, residents and officials from the Transportation Improvement Board and the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce will celebrate on Feb. 17 the completion of the Northeast 85th Street Improvements project during an 11 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. The ceremony will take place at Honda of Kirkland’s south lot just west of Northeast 85th Street’s intersection with 124th Avenue Northeast. Attendees can park in the Walgreen’s parking lot on the east side of 124th Avenue Northeast.
The ribbon-cutting celebrates the implementation of a vision Kirkland’s residents, businesses and city leaders first articulated more than a decade ago during the comprehensive planning process. That vision called for an eastern gateway to the city, called the Rose Hill Gateway. It would feature wide sidewalks with elegant street lights and hand-rails and a boulevard-feel to the arterial. The Rose Hill Gateway, then called State Route 908, would continue to be Kirkland’s most important connection to Redmond. But it would also connect Kirkland’s North Rose Hill neighborhood to its South Rose Hill neighborhood.
The Northeast 85th Street Improvements project laid the groundwork for this vision.
It accomplished several other objectives, as well. With a new system of turn-lanes, traffic signals and reconfigured intersections at 114th, 124th and 132nd avenues northeast, it is improving traffic flow along the entire corridor. Its new 24-inch water main ensures that Kirkland’s residents will continue to have access to clean and safe drinking water. And its new stormwater system helps prevent flooding.
Combined, these coordinated tasks represent the most complicated and ambitious project the City of Kirkland has ever pursued.