Project phases

Current Project Phase: Environmental review & preliminary design - Final EIS Review

Status Update:

  • BNSF site selected as Preferred Alternative
  • Preliminary design continues
  • Work on Final Environmental Impact Statement beginning

In July 2014, the Sound Transit Board of Directors identified the BNSF site as the preferred alternative for a new Link light rail Operations and Maintenance Satellite Facility (OMSF). The new facility is needed to store, service and deploy the expanding light rail train fleet as the system expands from 16 to 50 miles by 2023.  The final decision on the site location and the general size and scope of the facility will be determined after the project's Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is complete. 

What occurred during scoping and Draft EIS review?

The environmental scoping process for the OMSF, completed in October 2012, assessed and collected public comment on many alternatives. This work helped the Sound Transit Board identify four alternatives in December 2012 to evaluate the OMSF Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS).  The DEIS was released in May 2014 and allowed for public comment through June 23, 2014.

During the comment period that closed on June 23, 2014, public hearings were held in Lynnwood and Bellevue to inform the public about the project purpose and need, present the Draft EIS findings, and collect comment on the project from the community.  During the 45-day public review period, almost 800 comments were received and submitted to the Board for consideration prior to identification of the preferred alternative on July 23, 2014.  

The Draft EIS:

  • Describes the alternatives and their potential environmental impacts.
  • Provides environmental information to assist decision makers in identifying a preferred alternative.
  • Identifies measures to avoid and minimize impacts and, when necessary, mitigate adverse impacts.

The Final EIS will include responses to comments provided during Draft EIS public comment period.

  • Learn more about the project and review past meeting materials by visiting the document archive.
  • Draft EIS Board Motion
  • Draft EIS Staff Report

What's next?

Staff will begin work on the Final EIS this summer and move forward with preliminary engineering and design work on the preferred alternative. The Final EIS will also document and address comments received on the DEIS. Following publication of the Final EIS, the Sound Transit Board of Directors will make a final decision by selecting the preferred maintenance facility site for the project. In addition, after the Final EIS is published, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is expected to issue its Record of Decision (ROD) on the project during the fall of 2015. 

Advancing preliminary design 

Prior to publication of the OMSF Final EIS, project staff will continue advancing preliminary designs to prioritize and incorporate transit-oriented development (TOD) interests consistent with the Sound Transit TOD policy (Resolution No. R2012-24), look at how design advancements, including the potential for constructing over a portion of the site, might serve as potential mitigation  and include work that:

  • Considers how to maximize TOD on the site and in the vicinity of the OMSF, and provide for opportunities to activate TOD concurrent with project implementation.
  • Assesses opportunities to minimize the facilities effect on the TOD potential of surrounding properties and creates design more compatible with the Bel-Red Sub-area Plan.
  • Incorporates value engineering work with stakeholder feedback to achieve a thoughtful preliminary design that integrates the OMSF with surrounding land uses. 

Progressing on schedule

Work is progressing on schedule and the Final EIS is anticipated during the summer of 2015. To help keep preliminary design work moving, three members of the Sound Transit Board will join project staff and designated members of Bellevue City Council, to facilitate timely resolution of questions and issues related to the OMSF and Sound Transit's other east corridor project, East Link. 

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After the Final EIS phase of work ends the project enters final design - this is the phase of project work when project architects and engineers complete the design of the facility and determine construction methods. During Final Design, Sound Transit will make final decisions about property acquisitions and impacted property owners will be contacted again by Sound Transit Real Property staff. 

Design and Permitting: 2015 to 2017

Construction: 2017 to 2020

Project completion and operations begin: 2020

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