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Spring construction check-in: Link and Stride projects

Learn the latest on Sound Transit’s four light rail extensions under construction, plus three all-new bus rapid transit lines.

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No matter where you live in the region, you’ve probably noticed our construction projects – and many of these build sites are getting busier by the day now that spring’s in full swing. 

As part of the largest transit expansion in the country, Sound Transit’s current construction projects will more than double your current Link light rail system by 2026, adding 19 new stations and going from 28 miles of service to 62. At the same time, we’re also building the infrastructure for a brand-new Sound Transit mode: Stride bus rapid transit, coming in 2027 and 2028.

With so much going on across the region, we want to keep you up to speed. Here’s the latest on how our region’s critical connections are taking shape.

East Link Extension

We’re just weeks away from welcoming you aboard the new 2 Line! Eight Eastside stations between Bellevue and Redmond will open Saturday, April 27

Trains are already running as part of our pre-revenue testing, and construction crews are putting the final touches on this segment of the 2 Line, which the Sound Transit Board approved last summer for an opening this spring

East Link was originally planned to open as one extension in 2023, but construction quality issues along the I-90 segment prompted some creative thinking and a strategic pivot. 

By phasing the project, we can now give passengers access to the majority of East Link stations as soon as they’re ready, while construction crews continue to correct work on the rest of the extension. 

In preparation for the 2 Line launch, we’ve already opened some related pieces of the puzzle. 

In October, we cut the ribbon on the new Redmond Technology Station parking garage. And you can also experience “Verdant,” an immersive work by local artist Leo Saul Berk that’s part of Sound Transit’s art program, STart. It’s incorporated into the Overlake Village Pedestrian Bridge, which opened in January.

People walk across a pedestrian bridge, which is encased in green panels
Opened in January, a new pedestrian bridge at Overlake Village Station (where 2 Line service will launch on April 27) incorporates the aptly named artwork “Verdant” by Leo Saul Berk.

The remaining seven miles of the East Link alignment, along I-90, have faced challenges with construction quality issues, which contractors are continuing to address. We currently expect to open this second segment of the 2 Line in 2025. 

We’re also looking for opportunities to “tie-in” the 2 Line to the existing 1 Line at International District/Chinatown Station with minimal disruptions to our current passengers. While the tracks themselves already connect, we still need to complete the power and systems tie-in work in this area in time. 

The 2 Line connection over Lake Washington is critical not just for Eastside residents, but for the regionwide Link system. 

The full East Link alignment was originally designed to open before our 1 Line extension from Northgate to Lynnwood (launching later this year). Until it does, trains won’t be able to travel back and forth to our Operations and Maintenance Facility East in Bellevue’s Spring District. 

Earlier this month, we shared our plans for offering the most 1 Line service possible during the busiest times of day once Lynnwood opens and until trains can connect to the Eastside. 

Downtown Redmond Link Extension

In 2025, we’ll also extend the 2 Line further east, add 3.4 miles and two more stations, at Marymoor Village and Downtown Redmond.

About 85% complete overall, we’re happy to report this project is progressing on schedule for an opening next spring. 

Right now construction crews are installing the overhead catenary poles that will power the trains (about 70% complete) and finishing the interiors and exteriors on stations and parking garages – which includes everything from roofing to mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems.

Lynnwood Link Extension and NE 130th St. Infill Station

At 97% complete overall, the 1 Line extension from Northgate to Snohomish County will be ready to welcome passengers aboard later this year, and you can expect an official opening date announcement very soon! 

Lynnwood Link will add 8.5 miles and four new stations to the 1 Line, in Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood. We began systems integrated testing in October 2023, and on April 15 we’re set to start pre-revenue service — the period of intensive testing to make sure that stations, tracks, utilities, escalators, elevators, systems, and vehicles all work together as expected prior to welcoming passengers. 

Learn more about what to expect when Lynnwood Link opens, including convenient new connections with local transit, how we’re simplifying fares to one flat rate, and how service will increase in the years ahead. 

Elevated track of the Lynnwood Link Extension can be seen next to I-5
Interstate 5 drivers have watched Lynnwood Link construction taking shape for years, and the work is set to pay off with a 1 Line extension opening later this year. This photo, taken last summer, shows the alignment under construction near Shoreline South/148th Station.

In 2026, we’ll also open another 1 Line station at NE 130th Street, between Northgate and Shoreline South stations. The station structure is in place, and contractors are starting to deliver all the finishes. 

This will be Sound Transit’s first “infill” station opened on a line that’s already in service, so we’re focused on putting measures in place to make sure operations and construction can coexist safely and efficiently after Lynnwood Link opens. 

Lessons learned on this project will help inform our future planning on two more 1 Line infill stations south of Seattle, at Graham Street and Boeing Access Road. 

Federal Way Link Extension 

In 2026 we’re also set to open South King Country’s light rail extension, from Angle Lake to Federal Way. 

This project, which adds 7.8 miles and three new stations, was originally slated to open in late 2024 and is 83% complete overall. But after encountering some unexpected soil conditions under a portion of the route bordering wetlands in Kent, we went back to the drawing board and found a more stable solution for spanning the divide. 

In the end, we settled on a design that will become Sound Transit’s longest-spanning bridge to date. Learn more about this engineering marvel and how construction’s going.

A large piece of construction equipment used as part of the Federal Way Link Extension
Federal Way Link Extension workers are using “traveler” machines to build Sound Transit’s longest bridge to date, with a middle span of more than 500 feet.

The delays we’ve experienced in this area mean we’re going to be sharing space with our partners at WSDOT, who are working on the SR 509 Completion project. We’ve been closely coordinating with them from the beginning and will continue doing so as our contractors share close quarters.

Elsewhere on the Federal Way Link alignment, we’ve finished a storage track for up to 16 light rail vehicles, and we’re advancing “integrated construction,” which means lots of varied activity on trackwork, stations, garages, and systems.

We're also collaborating closely with the City of Federal Way on activating the new bus loop downtown. 

Stride bus rapid transit lines

Beyond our Link projects, we’re also making very good progress on the infrastructure for a new mode: Stride BRT, which will connect communities north, east, and south of Lake Washington. 

The S1 Line from Burien to Bellevue (targeted to open 2027/2028) includes I-405/NE 44th interchange project. Our WSDOT partners are delivering this project, and it’s currently about 60% complete. The S1 Line also includes the South Renton Transit Center; design is complete for this portion of the project, and Sound Transit will advertise for a construction contract later this year. 

The S2 Line from Bellevue to Lynnwood (also targeted for 2027/2028) includes two more WSDOT partner projects: the NE 85th interchange (about 17% complete) and the I-405/Brickyard to SR 527 project, which has just gotten underway. 

The S3 Line from Bothell to Shoreline (targeting 2027) includes BAT (business access and transit) lanes that are already finished and in use. We’ll also be completing design on other aspects of this project and advertising for construction this year. 

Covering 45 miles, these three new Stride lines require very close collaboration with several different jurisdictions and partner agencies. 

One schedule risk we’re tracking is that limited capacity at our partner agencies may mean permitting processes and right-of-way acquisitions might take longer than expected. We’ll continue to work closely with them and resolve issues as they arise, and we're providing resources to partners to accelerate permitting.  

Stay up to date on construction progress

We’re committed to advancing work as safely and efficiently as possible, on all our transit expansions throughout the region. Sound Transit projects create connections to opportunity, and we know our local communities are hungry for new high-quality transit options. 

Stay tuned in the weeks ahead for more news, including our Lynnwood Link Extension opening date, by signing up for project updates.  

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