Project updates: East Link Extension

Apr 28, 2017

Site preparation in BelRed

Over the course of the next few weeks, you may begin to notice some changes in BelRed between 124th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 20th Street. Sound Transit's contractors will begin to prepare some portions of the construction work zones outside of public right-of-way for East Link construction. Typical construction work hours are from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and as needed on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

What to expect:

Fence installation

Beginning the week of May 1, you may begin to notice fencing being installed near 124th and 130th Avenues Northeast, and other areas throughout the corridor. Fencing will provide safe work zones for clearing and demolition of structures within Sound Transit's work zones later this year.

Utility relocations along NE Spring Blvd and 136th Place NE

Sound Transit is working with power and communications utilities, Puget Sound Energy, Comcast and Century Link to coordinate installation of temporary utility poles along NE Spring Boulevard, 136th Place Northeast and on 130th Ave Northeast. This work is anticipated to begin as early as late-May.

More than 30 temporary poles will be installed along the roadways in preparation for East Link light rail heavy civil construction activities in this area. Temporary poles will be in place for approximately 2.5 years until service is changed over to new permanent service that will be installed as part of this project.

Further notification will be provided before this work begins.

BelRed utility relocation map.

Meet the contractor open house: June

Sound Transit's contractor is developing a construction schedule for work occurring this summer for the portion of the project between 124th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 20th Street in BelRed. Sound Transit will host a Meet the Contractor Open House in June to share information about East Link construction activities. Stay tuned for the open house date and location announcement via electronic newsletter.

Apr 28, 2017

Overlake Transit Center park-and-ride closing May 1

Construction of the Redmond Technology Center light rail station is about to begin. The first step in building the station and its 320-stall parking garage is to close the parking lots at the current Overlake Transit Center. Bus and shuttle service will remain open as well as bike storage. Drivers must find alternate parking or commute options while the area remains closed through construction. Visit soundtransit.org/eastlink to get started. Sound Transit and its design-build contractor are developing plans to open the garage before East Link light rail service begins in 2023.

South Bellevue Park-and-Ride closing May 30

As part of East Link construction, the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride lot will close on Tuesday, May 30. Drivers who currently park at the facility must find other parking or commute options while the lot remains closed for construction.

Sound Transit asks riders for their patience and understanding as construction crews work to build East Link, which will significantly improve transit service in East King County. Information about other park-and-ride locations and commute options is available at soundtransit.org/eastlink.

Drivers are encouraged to begin using alternate parking or commute options as soon as possible. A temporary southbound bus stop will be located across from the current South Bellevue Park-and-Ride, which will become an active construction zone. The northbound bus stop will remain in place with slight modifications during construction. The future South Bellevue Station will include a new 1,500-stall parking garage as well as bus and paratransit transfer facilities. The new station will open in 2023. Sound Transit and the contractor are exploring opportunities to open the park-and-ride sooner if possible.

Light rail is coming to Downtown Redmond

Join us for an open house

Sound Transit is moving forward with plans to extend light rail to Downtown Redmond. Attend an open house to learn and comment on:

  • Conceptual design plans for the southeast and downtown Redmond stations.
  • Route from NE 40th Street to downtown Redmond.
  • The preliminary engineering process and project timeline.
  • Upcoming opportunities to provide input and stay informed.

When:

May 17, 2017
5-7 p.m.
Presentation begins at 5:30 p.m.

Where:
Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center
16600 NE 80th St.
Redmond, WA 98052

For more information, visit soundtransit.org/redmondlink.

Upcoming 'Meet the Contractor' open houses

East Link construction will kick into high gear this summer and Sound Transit will host "Meet the Contractor" open houses for each project area. These open houses are a great way to meet the construction team and learn more about upcoming work activities. Open house dates and locations will be announced in the coming weeks.

Judkins Park Station area study

The City of Seattle's Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) and Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) are inviting the community to a conversation on the Judkins Park Station area and coordinating City activities to make your neighborhood a better place for you. This project places the new station at the center of the map for this planning effort—marrying neighborhoods that have been separated by I-90, topography, discontinuous streets, and uninviting paths—to address land use and transportation together. The Judkins Park Station, part of the East Link project, will begin construction in 2018 and open in 2023. Learn more about this project at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/JudkinsParkAccessStudy.htm.

Sound Transit Building Salvage and Sustainability

Sound Transit is committed to protecting the environment and incorporates sustainable business practices in its planning, design, construction and operations. In late 2016, the agency partnered with three local salvage companies to remove and re-use materials from Sound Transit-owned structures along the East Link light rail route. Second Use, Reuse and Earthwise removed doors, cabinets, fixtures, lighting, appliances and other items that would have otherwise been sent to the landfill. For more information about Sound Transit's Sustainability Program, Sustainability Plan and the latest Sustainability Targets, visit http://www.soundtransit.org/sustainability.

Apr 18, 2017

South Bellevue Park-and-Ride scheduled to close May 30, 2017

When East Link opens in 2023, Eastside commuters will be able to travel from downtown Bellevue to downtown Seattle in 20 minutes. However, the period between construction and opening day will bring challenges and change. We understand changes you make during this transition may be difficult. For the next five years, getting to and from your destination may involve taking two bus trips in the place of one. Or, you may choose to pair your bus commute with another mode such as walking, bicycling or joining a King County Metro VanShare group. As you explore your options, please know Sound Transit is working to expedite the delivery of congestion-free train services and build new light rail stations with more parking. The expansion of light rail and bus service on the east side will be a game changer for our rapidly growing community. Thank you for your patience.

Park-and-ride options on the Eastside

Cars parked at a park and ride.

There are over 50 park-and-rides on the Eastside. Visit the King County Metro Park-and-Ride Information page to learn more about existing park-and-ride options.

Sound Transit has opened six new park-and-ride lots served by existing transit service, expanded two lots, and identified lots with available parking. Many of the new park-and-ride lots are closer to the trip origin, but in some cases the trip will now involve a transfer. Sound Transit will continue to explore opportunities to lease park-and-ride lots served by ST Route 550. Find more information about park-and-ride options during East Link construction on the East Link Park-and-Ride Closure page.

Bus service along Bellevue Way SE during East Link construction

South Bellevue Park-and-Ride closure map

Sound Transit routes 550 and 555/556 will continue to serve stops on Bellevue Way SE adjacent to the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride site during East Link construction. These routes, as well as King County Metro Route 241, will move to new temporary bus stops during construction. The southbound bus stop will be on the west side of Bellevue Way SE, just north of 112th Avenue SE. Northbound buses will continue to serve the existing stop as usual. King County Metro Route 249 began using the new southbound stop in September 2016. Notification will be provided in advance of these bus stop relocations with rider information at the stops and on affected bus routes.

In advance of the closure, transit service has been added and expanded on several Sound Transit Express bus routes.

Route Improvement Effective
554 (Issaquah - Seattle) Added 12 new trips March 2016
542 (Redmond - Seattle) Added new midday service with 20 new trips March 2016
541 (Redmond - Seattle) Added 44 new trips March 2016
545 (Redmond - Seattle) Added 15 new weekday trips September 2016
555/556 (Issaquah - Bellevue - Northgate) Added 4 new weekday trips September 2016

Travel options

Sound Transit, in partnership with King County Metro's Just One Trip program, as well as other local community based programs such as Choose Your Way Bellevue and Go Redmond, is helping you find alternatives to driving alone.

Visit Just One Trip's Resources page for links to help you discover trip options, plan your trip, find ride share partners, and more such as:

King County Metro VanShare

Share a ride from your neighborhood to/from transit, with reserved parking at qualifying park-and-rides and near the Bellevue Transit Center. In advance of the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride closure, King County Metro has reduced the ridership requirement to start a VanShare. Now groups only need three people to get started and King County Metro will cover the fare for the first three months. Each member of the van receives a $25 ORCA or a $25 TranBen voucher good toward transit or future vanshare fare. Learn more and sign up at King County Metro’s VanShare page.

Park-and-Ride Permit Parking

Carpool to a participating park-and-ride and get a reserved spot with a monthly park-and-ride carpool permit. Groups of two or more commuters who regularly drive together to catch transit may apply for carpool parking permits. Permits allow participants to park in designated permit parking areas on weekdays during the morning rush hour. Permit costs and eligibility requirements vary depending upon location. Learn more and sign up at Carpool Parking Permit Page.

Plan your trip

Need help planning your commute?

Check out area maps and transportation options at kingcounty.gov/metro.

Call 206-553-3000 to learn more about Sound Transit and King County Metro transit routes.

Plan your bus trip on your computer or mobile phone with Metro Trip Planner app. Get directions, find route maps, schedules, stops, next departures and information about your transit service for trips around the region.

Receive a customized travel plan and alternative trip planning suggestions by completing a Commute Inquiry Form.

Did you know that walking or biking to a bus stop may shorten your commute? Use the trip planner to check out which bus stops are located near you. Learn about bike parking at Sound Transit and King County Metro transit facilities.

Learn about these and other trip options at Just One Trip!

Stay informed

Sound Transit will host a construction open house so you can meet the contractor and learn more about the upcoming construction. Sound Transit will provide information about the South Bellevue Station, construction activities, schedule and travel options. Once scheduled, the open house will be announced through a future newsletter and posted to our online events calendar.

Background

Construction of the 14-mile, 10-station East Link light rail project is under way in downtown Bellevue with work in south Bellevue set to begin this May. Sound Transit will build light rail along Bellevue Way SE and 112th Avenue SE from I-90 to the future East Main Station.

The South Bellevue Station will be located at the current South Bellevue Park-and-Ride site. The station will include bus and paratransit facilities, public art, space for passenger drop-off and approximately 1,500 parking stalls, nearly tripling today’s parking capacity. For a detailed look at the light rail route and station designs, visit Sound Transit's East Link page.

One of the first construction activities in the area will be closing the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride. This site will serve as the construction hub for staging equipment and building the light rail station, track and new parking garage.

Construction stages graphic for South Bellevue Park and Ride.

Apr 13, 2017

Attention Overlake Transit Center users: All park-and-ride spaces are closing May 1 for East Link construction

On May 1, the contractor building the future Redmond Technology Center light rail station will close the parking lots at the Overlake Transit Center. The parking closure may be challenging to regular park-and-ride lot users. Drivers should visit soundtransit.org/eastlink to find tools to help plan a new commute options.

Bus and shuttle service will remain open at the site through construction but bus bays and other services will be shifted as needed. Advanced notice of future stop relocation will be communicated through signs at the bus stops.

Construction crews will build a new 320-stall parking garage, Link light rail platform and new transit center. While East Link is scheduled to open in 2023, Sound Transit and its contractor are exploring ways to open the parking garage sooner.

The South Bellevue Park-and-Ride closure date is still yet to be determined. Keep your eye on these emails!

Apr 7, 2017

Business forum on transportation construction in BelRed

This news release was originally issued by the City of Bellevue.

BELLEVUE, Wash. – The Bellevue Office of Economic Development and Sound Transit invite Bellevue businesses to attend the Bellevue Business Resource Forum, where they'll learn about city transportation projects and East Link light rail construction happening in the BelRed corridor.

The forum is scheduled for 4:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, at the Bellevue Brewing Company, 1820 130th Ave. NE, #2. Two identical presentations will be offered at 5-5:30 p.m. and again at 6-6:30 p.m. Registration is encouraged at bellevuebizforum.eventbrite.com.

The forum will provide a wide range of information to help businesses better prepare themselves and their employees for East Link and other construction occurring in the BelRed neighborhood. The program will include:

  • City Transportation Department sharing updates on current and future projects in BelRed.
  • Sound Transit providing details on East Link construction within Bellevue and particularly the Spring District/120th and Bel-Red/130th light rail stations.
  • City Economic Development and Sound Transit Business Relations representatives sharing resource information on how businesses can best cope with construction impacts and sustain a successful businesses.
  • Informational displays featuring the City's BelRed Corridor Plan and the Grand Connection.

Register for this free forum online or contact Marie Jensen, East Link Outreach, City of Bellevue, at 425-452-2064 or mjensen@bellevuewa.gov.

Please note that seating is limited for the two presentations in the large media room. Also, food/drink orders will not be served during the presentations, but will be available in the general seating area. Costs are the responsibility of the attendee.

To learn more about the transformation of the BelRed area, see the city's story map about it.

Modes of transportation, other than driving, are highly encouraged. Plan your trip at http://tripplanner.kingcounty.gov or download the Trip Planner App.

Mar 27, 2017

Getting across Lake Washington

As part of the East Link light rail extension, Sound Transit is doing something that’s never been done before – placing light rail on a floating bridge. To safely transition light rail vehicles from the I-90 land bridge to the floating bridge, engineers and designers had to consider a number of factors including six different ranges of motion from Lake Washington: up and down, back and forth and side to side.

Rendering of track bridge technology on the I-90 floating bridge

Rendering of track bridge technology on the I-90 floating bridge

What did we do?
To come up with a solution, Sound Transit designed and tested a “track bridge.” The track bridge includes having the rails rest on a series of bearings and plates allowing them to move with changing lake levels and bridge movements. Sound Transit partnered with Parsons Brinckerhoff and Jesse Engineering of Tacoma to design and build two full-scale prototypes. The materials for the track bridges can be found “on the shelf,” eliminating the need for custom materials.

Passing the Test
The two track bridge prototypes, along with two Link light rail vehicles, were shipped for testing to the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colo. Once there, Sound Transit was able to mimic the forces and movements the track bridges will experience during normal and extreme conditions.

After collecting more than 500 channels of data during each light rail vehicle pass, the track bridges passed all critical test criteria with the ability to provide safe and comfortable light rail operations at planned speeds up to 55 mph the maximum operating speed for Link light rail.

Photo of track bridge testing at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colorado

Testing the track bridge at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, CO.

Want to learn more? Click here to check out a video detailing this cool technology.

Mar 15, 2017

Utility work on 110th Ave NE and NE 2nd St

Construction crews have completed the water main replacement at the intersection of 110th Avenue Northeast and Main Street and are preparing to shift efforts one block north. Beginning as early as Saturday, Mar. 18, crews will move the work zone to 110th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 2nd Street to continue the water main replacement.

Water main traffic control map

What to expect

  • The initial work will require the closure of all lanes on Northeast 2nd Street in the work area (illustrated in red in the map) and a lane on 110th Avenue Northeast for approximately three weeks.
  • North and southbound traffic will be permitted on 110th Avenue Northeast around the work area. Detours will be in place to aid motorists around the Northeast 2nd Street closure.
  • Signage and cones will help direct motorists safely through the work area with a flagger present during daytime hours.
  • The on street parking on the west side of 110th Avenue Northeast near ToysRUs will be unavailable during the closure.
  • Access to residences and businesses will be maintained.
  • Additional closures will be necessary on 110th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 2nd Street in different configurations following the initial three-week period. More information will be provided as the work progresses.
Mar 2, 2017

South Bellevue Park-and-Ride service changes

King County Metro has issued rider alerts in advance of the March 11th service change. While system wide service changes take place on March 11th, routes serving the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride will continue to serve the bus bay located within the park-and-ride until the park-and-ride closes.

Following the closure of the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride, transit routes currently operating inside the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride, will no longer pull into the park-and-ride. Instead, routes will serve stops located on Bellevue Way SE, adjacent to the closed park-and-ride.

South Bellevue park-and-ride service changes map.

We anticipate receiving a schedule from the contractor soon. Once the date of the park and ride closure is confirmed, it will be announced through a broad range of outreach activities, including East Link construction alerts.

Feb 27, 2017

East Link tunnel excavation is underway in downtown Bellevue

Behind the construction sound wall, crews are busy excavating at the south tunnel portal site located at 112th Avenue Northeast and Main Street. A video of the construction progress at the the tunnel portal and route through downtown Bellevue can be viewed here.

Because of the short tunnel length (approximately 2,000 feet long, or approximately one-third of a mile), and to minimize impact on neighboring homes and businesses, Sound Transit is constructing the tunnel using the Sequential Excavation Method (SEM) rather than a tunnel boring machine or digging a large trench that is later covered. SEM removes soil in small sections or bites using an excavator and cutting equipment. As soon as soil is removed, pressurized concrete, called shotcrete, is sprayed on the tunnel's sides, celling and floor. Lattice girders provide additional structural support for the tunnel.

SEM minimizes disruptions to surface streets, homes and businesses while also reducing noise and dust. Sound Transit used SEM to successfully dig its Beacon Hill light rail station. 

Sequential Excavation Method graphic

What to expect:

  • Approximately two years of excavation followed by finish work inside the tunnel.
  • Work began at the south tunnel portal and will advance north at a projected rate of 3 – 4 feet per day.
  • Tunnel excavation occurs on a 24/7 timeline with truck hauling occurring during daytime hours.
Feb 3, 2017

Utility work on 110th Avenue NE and Main Street

Beginning as early as Monday Feb. 6, construction crews will begin work to replace a water main at the intersection of 110th Avenue Northeast and Main Street in downtown Bellevue. Lane closures will be necessary as the replacement occurs.

Water main traffic control map.

What to expect:

  • The initial work zone (illustrated in red in the image) will require the use of two westbound lanes on Main Street and one northbound lane on 110th Avenue Northeast between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day for approximately four weeks.
  • The center turn lane on Main Street will be used as a northbound lane while the initial work zone is in place. One of the existing southbound lanes on 110th Avenue Northeast will be used to accommodate northbound traffic.
  • Additional closures will be necessary in the northbound lane of 110th Avenue Northeast and again on Main Street to complete the tie-in of the new pipeline. More information will be provided as the work progresses.
  • Flaggers, signage and cones will help direct motorists safely through the work area.
  • The on street parking adjacent to the work zone on the west side of 110th Avenue Northeast will be unavailable during the closure.
  • Access to residences and businesses will be maintained and impacts to water service are not anticipated to occur.

Pages