Board identifies 12th Ave. light rail route for Roosevelt
"Twelfth Avenue is the right route for the Roosevelt community," said Sound Transit Board Chair and Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. "It offers better options for bus connections. Construction won't be as intrusive. The station location will help build an urban village. And, it's what the majority of residents said they wanted."
Last spring when the Board identified the preferred North Link route, it left two Roosevelt-area alternatives open for further review, one along 8th Avenue and one along 12th Avenue. The Board's vote today completes the process of identifying the preferred route.
Board members stated that the 12th Avenue's estimated $35 million to $40 million higher cost, based on the need to build the station underground, was clearly outweighed by the route's benefits and strong community support. In addition to stimulating positive urban development, another major benefit is that the route avoids potential conflicts with future Interstate 5 improvements. The Washington State Department of Transportation expressed preference for the 12th Avenue alternative.
In the coming year Sound Transit will complete preliminary engineering for North Link, issue a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, and identify cost estimates as well as construction financing and timeline options.
The North Link preferred route connects downtown and Northgate via First Hill, Capitol Hill and the University District, with trains running primarily underground in a congestion-free right of way.
North Link will dramatically expand Central Link's daily ridership, adding more than 100,000 daily riders to the projected 42,500 who will ride the initial segment that is now under construction. The high ridership would make the extension one of the most cost-effective new transportation projects in the nation.
I-5 currently carries more than 250,000 vehicles and operates at or above capacity for eight hours every weekday. Current bus service is hampered by high demand and traffic congestion, with peak hour service regularly running as much as 30 minutes behind schedule. North Link will provide riders with quick, frequent and dependable travel times. For example, travel times to downtown will be 16 minutes from Northgate, 12 minutes from the University District and six minutes from Capitol Hill.
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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.