Workers inside the tunnel underneath downtown Bellevue discuss how awesome it will be for the Sounders to win the MLS Cup in front of the hometown crowd.
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The structural work in the East Link tunnel under downtown Bellevue is wrapping up. Rail installation begins soon.

Fresh pics: exploring East Link from above and below ground

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Our latest photo field trips took us to the East Link extension – 14 miles of new light rail with 10 stations connecting Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue and the Bel-Red and Overlake neighborhoods (Microsoft headquarters).

East Link is already transforming the Eastside's skyline, and construction is more than halfway complete.

In a few more years, when East Link begins operating as the Blue Line in 2023, it will transform the commutes for thousands of people. 

Trips between downtown Bellevue and Westlake Station in downtown Seattle will take 24 minutes, no matter how bad traffic is.

If you enjoy these photos, follow us on Instagram and tune in on Fridays for our regular "Field Trip Friday" stories where we visit Sound Transit construction sites around the region. 

For more information about East Link check out the project web page, sign up for project alerts and join the new East Link Facebook Group for the latest construction news.

And of course, subscribe to The Platform to get the latest news and photos delivered to your inbox!

Redmond Technology Station

Let's start with the last station on the East Link extension: Redmond Technology Station

A platform and parking garage are under construction in Redmond, near Microsoft headquarters. SR 520 can be seen on the left side of the photo.
Located along SR 520 at NE 40th Street, trips from here to Chinatown-International District in Seattle will take 30 minutes, no matter how bad traffic is on the highways.
A man in a construction vest and hard hat and standing on a lift paints a structure at Redmond Technology Station.
So far more than 2.1 million labor hours have gone into building East Link.

Extending the Blue Line to downtown Redmond, two additional stations will open in 2024.

We just broke ground on that project this month!

Overlake Village Station

This street-level station is really shaping up. It will serve the Overlake area of Redmond, home to about 46,000 jobs and growing residential neighborhoods.

Workers can be seen in the background of this photo of Overlake Village Station, where rail and platforms are under construction.
Overlake - you've got rail!
A light rail bridge crosses over 148th Avenue in Redmond.
Sunny weather in October allowed our photographer to get this great photo from the light rail bridge in Redmond.

Spring District/120th Station

This station is located at the hub of the dynamic, growing, mixed-use Spring District neighborhood

Two men in hard hats peer over a wall to look down into the Spring District's light rail station, currently under construction.
Some of the new developments (including REI's headquarters) can be seen in the background of this cool shot of Spring District Station.
A construction worker paints portions of the station under white plastic sheets.
It's a good sign when the tarps go up for painting steel underneath.

Wilburton Station

This elevated station provides important access to nearby hospitals and the growing Wilburton neighborhood.

Downtown Bellevue can be seen from the light rail guideway by Wilburton Station.
Downtown Bellevue can be seen from the guideway leading up to Wilburton Station.
A construction worker sprays water at the rails being installed near Wilburton Station.
Keeping it clean during rail installation at Wilburton.
Workers walking the East Link elevated guideway leading to Wilburton Station discuss strategy for shutting down Jozy Altidore in the MLS Cup final.
Workers can now walk from downtown Bellevue, across I-405, all the way to the hospitals and Spring District on the East Link guideway.

Bellevue Downtown Station and tunnel 

Contractors are busy finishing the inside of the light rail tunnel under downtown leading to the Bellevue Downtown Station. Mining operations wrapped up in the 1,800 foot tunnel last summer.

Workers walk through the light rail tunnel under downtown Bellevue.
The tunnel has two sets of tracks (one for northbound, one for southbound trains) with a wall running down the middle. The lines you see on the left are shadows cast by the steel bars in the center wall.
Two construction workers measure the wall of the tunnel under Downtown Bellevue.
Measure twice, pour thousands of yards of concrete once.

Check out our previous stories about mining the downtown Bellevue Tunnel.

More stories on East Link construction

Hopefully this isn't the first time you've run across our continuing coverage of East Link construction.

Check out our past stories for more action shots and information.

Bridging the gap: making tracks to connect the Eastside with Link light rail

Watch out for 'Nails' on the trail

Restoring and creating new wildlife habitat along East Link

Or you can see all of our East Link stories by clicking on the East Link category listing below (or on the right if you're reading this on your desktop or tablet).

Here's an overview of the whole extension:

A map shows the stations along the 14-mile East Link extension, from International District/Chinatown Station in Seattle out to Redmond Technology Station.

More light rail to the north, south and west

When we open the Downtown Redmond Link Extension in 2024, we'll also extend light rail to Lynnwood and Federal Way.

Check our system expansion page for details on the overall regional expansion taking light rail all the way to West Seattle, Ballard, Everett and Tacoma

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