A Link light rail train moves through International District/Chinatown Station with new fencing in the areas between the north and south platforms.

Pardon our dust: Blue Line construction begins at International District / Chinatown Station

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Regular Link riders may have noticed some recent changes at the International District / Chinatown Station and in the tunnel area south of the platform.

Now that trains are the only service running in the tunnel, early work to prepare connecting the Blue Line (aka East Link) has begun.

Contractors are installing fencing and screening between the north and southbound platforms and in the former bus staging area to the south of the station.


A view of the new fencing in International District/Chinatown Station from the platform.
New fences and screening in place at International District/Chinatown Station. Work is beginning inside the fences to connect the East Link "Blue Line" with the existing service.


Crews will soon begin saw-cutting and demolishing concrete to prepare for new Blue Line tracks that will tie into the existing Link tracks in early 2020 as part of the Connect 2020 project.

This is the first time that a new line will be tied into existing service to prepare for the Blue Line opening in 2023 that will expand light rail service to Seattle's Central District, Mercer Island, Bellevue and the Overlake area.

Getting started on the turn-back tracks

A map showing the work areas between the north and southbound platforms at International District / Chinatown Station

Crews will soon begin work to install what’s called a turn-back track inside the fenced area between the two platforms.

The turn-back track provides flexibility within the existing Link alignment by creating a staging area for trains which can be deployed after major stadium events.

For the safety of the traveling public and construction crews, some work will occur during overnight hours.

Noise and vibration will be mitigated to the greatest extent possible but may be noticeable to awaiting passengers and nearby residents.

Overnight work is expected to occur Monday – Friday from 7:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.

Work will also continue during regular daytime hours. Access to the station will be maintained and Link service will operate as usual.

Sign up for Connect 2020 project alerts to stay informed about this and other construction activities in the area. 


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