The tunnel portal south of downtown Bellevue near 110th Avenue Northeast and Main Street.
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The tunnel portal south of downtown Bellevue near 110th Avenue Northeast and Main Street.

Fresh pics: Construction complete on downtown Bellevue tunnel

East Link on track to open in 2023

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Sound Transit today gave local media a tour of the recently-completed light rail tunnel under downtown Bellevue. 

Ride along with The Platform for your own sneak peek! 

The tunnel is part of the East Link light rail extension opening in 2023

A map showing the future East Link stations and route connecting Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue and Overlake.

The new line includes 10 stations connecting Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue and the Overlake area near the Microsoft campus.

Trips from downtown Bellevue to the International District/Chinatown Station in Seattle will take 20 minutes, no matter how bad traffic is on Interstate 90.

We here at The Platform have followed East Link and tunnel construction from the start and it's incredible to see it so close to its finished state given everything we've been through the past six months.

Check out this video montage of the construction progress and hear from some of the leaders who cleared the way to make it happen and scroll down for more photos. Press the "AD" button for an audio-described version of the video. 

Our intrepid photographer recently visited the tunnel and brought back the pictures below. 

Or check out this story from last year for more great pictures during construction.

A view of the tracks in the downtown Bellevue light rail tunnel. Trains run on either side of a dividing wall that runs the length of the tunnel.
A view of the tracks in the downtown Bellevue light rail tunnel. Trains run on either side of a dividing wall that runs the length of the tunnel.
Another perspective on the wall that divides north and southbound tracks in the new tunnel.
Another perspective on the wall that divides north and southbound tracks in the new tunnel.
Looking down the tracks where the new tunnel emerges into the Bellevue Downtown Station.
Looking down the tracks where the new tunnel emerges into the Bellevue Downtown Station.
Looking up at an emergency exit from the downtown Bellevue light rail tunnel.
Looking up at a maintenance access stairwell and hatch from the downtown Bellevue light rail tunnel.
A Mason smoothing the concrete along one of the maintenance/emergency walkways inside the new Bellevue tunnel.
A Mason smoothing the concrete along one of the maintenance/emergency walkways inside the new Bellevue tunnel.
Looking back at the north tunnel portal from the future Bellevue Downtown Station area adjacent to the Bellevue Transit Center and Bellevue City Hall.
Looking back at the north tunnel portal from the future Bellevue Downtown Station area adjacent to the Bellevue Transit Center and Bellevue City Hall.

Hats off to the contracting team at Atkinson Construction who starting mining operations in 2017 on the one-third of a mile-long tunnel and managed to finish the excavation five months ahead of schedule, which helped keep the project on track despite delays from the pandemic this year. 

Contractors from Stacy and Witbeck/Atkinson will continue rail installation in the tunnel to prepare for final systems and testing work leading up to opening day in 2023!

Join the East Link Facebook group to stay up to speed on construction in the tunnel and everywhere else along the East Link line

 

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