New tracks installed just south of the International District/Chinatown Station
Media Caption
New tracks installed during the first half of Connect 2020 construction.

Connect 2020 checkup: Steady progress halfway into 10 weeks of construction

Upcoming work requires downtown tunnel closure

Publish Date

Just over four weeks into the major construction project to connect the new light rail line from the Eastside to Seattle, crews are making steady progress and Link light rail has settled into the new normal of running trains every 13-15 minutes.

We again want to give a huge THANK YOU to all of our riders for your patience during this work.

It’s the first time Sound Transit has operated Link through what is essentially a major construction zone.

Upcoming weekend tunnel closures

Map showing no Link light rail service between Capitol Hill and SODO stations. Free bus shuttles will serve all closed stations.
Free bus shuttles will replace link service between Capitol Hill and SODO stations this weekend starting at 9 p.m. Friday (Feb. 7).

This weekend crews will test the new tracks and systems on the northbound platform at the International District/Chinatown Station (IDS).

All downtown tunnel stations will be closed starting Friday (Feb. 7) night at 9 p.m. before resuming normal service Monday morning at 5 a.m.

Crews need to power down the overhead lines to do the work, so there will be no Link light rail service between Capitol Hill and SODO stations.

Free shuttle buses will run between Capitol Hill and SODO stations making surface stops at all the closed stations. Fares will not be required on Link during the shutdown.

Check here for where to catch the free shuttles from the closed stations

Progress so far

Here’s a look at what’s been happening behind the sound-dampening curtains and construction fencing at IDS.

The work is progressing as scheduled to connect the East Link line with current service just south of the station. The work these past four weeks has included:

  • Cutting out concrete sections in the station area
  • Installing new rail and switches south of the northbound platform areas
  • Installing conduit for new power and communications lines
  • Preparing the area between the platforms for new turn-back tracks

Check out our previous check-in on Connect 2020 for more photos of the work so far.

Eyes on the prize

We appreciate that this is a challenging time for Link commuters – we ride the same trains to and from work.

But we’re doing this work right now because it’s historically the lowest ridership time of the year and we also need to get it done before the extension to Northgate opens NEXT YEAR.

So thank you again for sticking with us and keeping your eyes on the prize – more trains to more places – 22 new stations over the next five years!

 

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