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A side-by-side comparison of Redmond Technology Station during and after construction
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Redmond Technology Station in 2019 and 2023.

From construction to (almost) operation: see the progress on the 2 Line over the years

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Who else is ready to celebrate the opening of the 2 Line on April 27?

With eight stations from South Bellevue to Redmond Technology, 2 Line trains will run every 10 minutes 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. seven days a week.

We've come a long way since the groundbreaking for the project almost eight years ago. 

Confetti falls as a group of people shovel dirt in a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony for East Link on April 22, 2016.
The ceremonial groundbreaking for East Link in 2016.

It's been an awesome feat to bring these new stations from planning, to construction, and soon, to serving the public. 

Two more stations (Mercer Island and Judkins Park) on the East Link Extension are set to open next year. 

Since the project passed the halfway mark for construction in 2019, so much work has been done - from installing overhead power wires, to landscaping, to testing, testing and more testing

Highlights from those first years of construction included:

Since then, we've moved into a new light rail base, opened parking facilities, and put the finishing touches on all of the stations, including installing public art.

Take a look at some photos to see the changes over the years!

Crews work on Overlake Village Station in 2019, before rail was even installed.
Overlake Village Station in 2019.
A sign reminds people to look both ways before crossing the tracks at the mostly complete Overlake Village Station.
Overlake Village Station in 2022.
A worker carries steel rebar that will reinforce the concrete track bed in the future East Link light rail tunnel under downtown Bellevue
The Downtown Bellevue Tunnel in 2019.
A train comes out of a tunnel at night, with downtown Bellevue lit up in the background.
The Downtown Bellevue Tunnel in 2022.
Photo of Wilburton Station track review
The track to Wilburton Station in 2019.
Crews watch as a test train is slowly pushed across the new light rail bridge over I-405 coming into downtown Bellevue.
Testing trains on the tracks in 2022.
Looking down at the platform of Spring District Station, empty except for concrete and some construction fencing.
Spring District Station in 2019.
Spring District Station with rail, platforms, OCS wires and art installed.
Spring District Station in 2023.
The bridge over 1-405 with lots of orange construction tape and equipment
The bridge over I-405 in 2019.
The completed bridge over I-405 ready for trains
The bridge over I-405 in 2022.

As of February 2024, almost 9 million labor hours had gone into the East Link extension project. 

We couldn't have done any of it without our contractors, many of whom are partnering with us to sponsor the 2 Line opening event on April 27. 

They include:


HDR provided construction management support for the Bellevue segment of the East Link Extension. In this role, HDR partnered with Sound Transit to provide the highest level of management and support, always keeping an eye on the final objective of providing high quality transit mobility and access to schools, hospitals, and shopping. Throughout the construction phase, HDR has provided the resident engineer and key management staff to manage contract execution with the contractor. 

Their team has been responsible for providing contract management; project oversight; project controls; scheduling; field inspection; commissioning; regulation compliance; utility coordination; maintenance of traffic; systems coordination; environmental monitoring and verification; construction safety monitoring and verification; and independent cost estimating.


This joint venture partnership between Kiewit and Hoffman is one of only two projects that Sound Transit has initiated in the design-build delivery format. The $227 million project encompasses two miles of light rail track stretching from Park Place in Bellevue, Washington, to Overlake Transit Center in Redmond, Washington. It includes Overlake Village Station with a pedestrian bridge, leased office building, transit facility, and a four-level parking garage.

The project finished in 2020 and will be part of the Puget Sound light rail network expansion when it opens for service this spring. The team has overcome some formidable early challenges, such as developing RFP drawings into constructible IFC drawings with a heavy civil joint venture partner and getting competitive pricing in an overheated Seattle construction market.


The 2 Line (East Link) project includes a combination of at-grade, aerial, tunnel, and floating bridge infrastructure. Hatch is responsible for the systems design elements, including traction power substation and distribution systems, overhead catenary system, signals, communications for the 2 Line final design, and design support during construction services.

Hatch assisted Sound Transit with the procurement of a fleet of 62 low-floor, light rail vehicles as part of the Central Link starter line project. With growth in ridership on the existing lines, and the continued expansion of the light rail network in several directions, Sound Transit once again engaged Hatch to support the purchase of a second fleet totaling 152 cars. Hatch has been working daily with Sound Transit’s operations, maintenance, and engineering departments, and Sound Transit’s operating partner, King County Metro.


HNTB is the prime firm leading the H-J-H Final Design Partners joint venture (JV) that is providing final design of the East Link Extension. The project consists of five design and construction packages via several delivery methods: three DBB, one GCCM and one DB. HNTB worked with Sound Transit to understand their goals for each project and recommend different packaging and delivery methods to accommodate their goals.

The HNTB team prepared procurement documents for contract packages and is providing design support during construction. Of the 18 major package design submittals, H-J-H has met the schedule for each one.


STV, in collaboration with Mott MacDonald, has overseen the systems construction for Sound Transit’s transformative East Link (2 Line), Northgate Link and Lynnwood Link extensions, which will serve tens of thousands of commuters across the Puget Sound region. For more than seven years, our joint venture, known as Northwest Transit Systems Partners, has provided vital technical review and construction management services for the 2 Line’s traction power, communications, signaling and train control systems.

From overhead power lines to equipment rooms, our engineers and inspectors were involved in overseeing the precise installation and testing of systems according to plans and specifications. These contributions support the efficient and safe operation of Sound Transit’s 2 Line trains, delivering a reliable transportation solution to the public.

Mott MacDonald

Mott MacDonald, in collaboration with STV, was retained as part of a joint venture to provide engineering services for the East link project.  In addition, we were responsible for project management of Area 2, including the Downtown Bellevue Tunnel. 

Mott MacDonald also completed a comprehensive feasibility study, including development of an appropriate tunnel cross-section and excavation sequences and initial support needs based on anticipated ground conditions, assessment of ground movements, impact on buildings and utilities, and final tunnel lining requirements. All were assessed in sufficient detail to provide accurate cost estimates.  Mott MacDonald is continuing to refine its design for the tunnel, using laser profiling to establish excavation lines and analyze the use of spray-applied waterproofing membrane and a final lining of steel-fiber-reinforced shotcrete.


Parsons Corporation has proudly partnered with transportation agencies in the Pacific Northwest for decades to enhance infrastructure and connect local communities. In partnership with the Sound Transit team, Parsons is proud of its role in delivering the East Link Project – from the light rail guideway to passenger stations – that will create a safer, more efficient, and sustainable experience for riders.

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