Seattle selects East Link route Aug 2011
Sound Transit News Release
- An underground alignment through downtown Bellevue is part of Seattle's selected route for the Sound Transit East Link extension east across Lake Washington, providing there is support for the proposal from the City of Bellevue. The route was approved by a 15-2 vote of the Sound Transit Board with the tunnel through downtown Bellevue contingent on the City of Bellevue providing $160 million of the additional $300 million cost (in 2010 dollars) of building a tunnel.
Fig 1. Selected East Link route
- The route and stations selected by the Board will be reviewed by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). After Sound Transit receives a Record of Decision from the FTA the project will move into final design. Sound Transit is expected to start construction of East Link in 2015 or 2016 and launch passenger services in 2022 or 2023.
- The approval of the alignment is the culmination of five years of study and community involvement, and means the City of Bellevue and Sound Transit are committed to establishing a partnership for a tunnel through downtown Bellevue.
- "A tunnel not only avoids impacts to traffic in downtown Bellevue but provides the best transit service for riders all over the region," said Sound Transit Board and Bellevue City Council member Claudia Balducci.
- Sound Transit Board member and King County Executive Dow Constantine said: "East Link will make commuting easier for thousands of residents and boost the competitiveness of our region in attracting new employers and jobs. This is the vision that voters in Bellevue had in mind when they approved East Link in 2008."
- Over the last five years Sound Transit Board members and staff have held 28 open houses, workshops and hearings; attended 249 meetings with local groups, property owners and residents; and reviewed 1,587 comments during the formal environmental review process.
- From Seattle the proposed extension heads east from downtown, and crosses Lake Washington in the center lanes of Interstate 90. The route enters Bellevue in an elevated configuration, and transitions to at-grade and retained-cut configurations cross the west side of 112th Avenue. The route moves into a tunnel beneath 110th Avenue Northeast to an underground station adjacent to the existing Bellevue Transit Center. From there it continues in a combination of elevated and at-grade alignments to serve four more stations to Overlake Transit Center. While the Sound Transit Board selected a route for a potential future extension of East Link between Redmond’s Overlake Transit Center Station and downtown area, construction of this segment was not funded by the Sound Transit two ballot measure.
- East Link is a key component of the Sound Transit 2 plan, expanding on the completed Central Link light rail system between Sea-Tac Airport and downtown Seattle and current construction of the University Link.
Build-out plans for the Seattle LRT - TunnelTalk, July 2010
Americans approve billions for transit projects - TunnelTalk, Nov 2008
Owner's approach to Seattle's U-Link extension - TunnelTalk, July 2010
U-Link prepares to receive its TBMs - TunnelTalk, March 2011
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