The purpose of the project was to relieve congestion on SR 522 at the 96th Avenue NE intersection. The addition of transit queue lanes in each direction allows mass transit to bypass the traffic signals in the westbound direction or have signal priority in the eastbound direction at 96th Ave. NE after King County Metro installed its transit signal priority system. Other work in this section included installation of center medians; asphalt and concrete paving, a new gateway sign, and improvements in the Red Brick Road Park area. This project was funded by the City, Sound Transit, Washington State Department of Transportation, the State Transportation Improvement Board (state gas tax), Federal Highway Administration and King County. The project also received the Urban Vitality grant through the State Public Works Board, which administers Washington State taxpayer funds.
The project improved capacity and enhanced the west entrance to the City on SR 522 (NE Bothell Way) at the 96th Avenue NE intersection (also known as Wayne Curve). It was the first to launch construction activities for the downtown revitalization effort.
Stage 1 consisted of the following key elements
Accommodate a right turn onto 96th Avenue NE with the eastbound transit lane
Add curbs, gutters, and sidewalk
Add exclusive transit by-pass lanes in each direction, and a second westbound to southbound left turn lane on SR 522
Improve storm drainage and water quality
Improve the traffic signal with provisions for a transit signal priority at SR 522/96th Avenue NE Intersection;
Improve utilities, including utility undergrounding
Install concrete retaining walls and urban amenities
Landscaping and install street lighting
Widen and re-align 96th Avenue NE to provide for an additional southbound lane on 96th Avenue NE and a second left turn lane from SR 522.