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Redmond is building a 520 Trail tunnel under NE 40th St, route detoured until 2021

Map of the construction area.Map of the detour.Redmond is constructing an underpass for the 520 Trail at NE 40th Street, so the trail route will be detoured through May 2021.

The closure started this week. Users are directed to side streets near the Microsoft and Nintendo campuses between NE 36th and 51st Streets. Most of the detour route has painted bike lanes.

The tunnel is also across the street from the site of the future Redmond Technology light rail station, so it will allow station users to bypass one crosswalk.

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The tunnel will also feature a walls-and-ceiling art project with palm trees and a rainbow. So that’s pretty cool, though I’m sure it will still feel like a tunnel under a busy road next to a freeway. But still, it looks fun.

Art concept inside tunnel. Caption: The art will only be visible to those walkers and cyclists traveling through the tunnel. For a brief moment, those travelers will be artistically transported through a portal that momentarily transforms the green, wet reality of the Northwest into a chromatic spectrum of palm trees and rainbows.

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2 responses to “Redmond is building a 520 Trail tunnel under NE 40th St, route detoured until 2021”

  1. Richard Slaughter

    Oh, for some reason I thought it was for 51st, not 40th. Honestly both need this treatment, but glad to see 40th gets it first. At 51st, high-speed traffic tends to fly off the south/west bound 520 offramp into a right turn, looking only to their left/behind for vehicles, NOT watching the crosswalk. I’ve seen so many near misses…

    But admittedly, I’ve seen more near-misses at 40th, where – in addition to another similar offramp – traffic on 40th heading east then turning right onto 520 south/west, line of sight to the crosswalk is blocked by the thru lane, so a huge number of vehicles in the right turn lane never even ATTEMPT to stop until they’re already partway into the crosswalk. And there’s just so much more traffic at the 40th crossing, though, sometimes it honestly seems like I see a near miss almost every time I stop there.

    This is a really, really nice improvement.

    Rainbow palm trees? Well, er.. OK, I guess that works :) Better than blank concrete! :)

    1. Andrew Sapuntzakis

      Blank concrete attracts low-effort graffiti, so here’s hoping this mural art is respected.

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