Federal stimulus helps bring express buses to Mountlake Terrace

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Work begins on new transit station in I-5 median

Sound Transit and its partners broke ground today on the Mountlake Terrace Freeway Station. Federal stimulus money and a regional mobility grant will help fund the $40.9 million facility.

The new project in the center of I-5 will enable buses to pick up and drop off Mountlake Terrace commuters inside the freeway median. The project, which will open in 2011, is located at 236th Street Southwest and features a pedestrian bridge connecting the new bus platforms with Community Transit’s new Mountlake Terrace Transit Center and park-and-ride garage. The project was planned in partnership with the City of Mountlake Terrace and Community Transit. Construction will be managed by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

“The Mountlake Terrace station is the last link in our chain of regional bus service on the I-5 corridor.” said Sound Transit Vice Chair and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. “The station will open the doors for new riders north and south and will help spur our local economy.”

The $4.6 million in federal stimulus dollars for the Mountlake Terrace project is part of $131 million in federal stimulus funds for transit projects in the Puget Sound region. Sound Transit will receive a total of $23 million for five shovel-ready construction projects in communities throughout the Sound Transit District.

“This is a prime example of Economic Recovery dollars being put to good use in our communities,” said Senator Patty Murray. “I am excited that the Mountlake Terrace Freeway Station has already started creating jobs and boosting the local economy. I feel strongly that recovery investments should go to projects like the Mountlake Terrace Freeway Station that reduce congestion, integrate transportation systems, and help commuters—projects that put people to work today and keep businesses moving to sustain economic growth in the future.”

“Increased transit capacity is important because it gives Puget Sound area commuters new ways to get to work or school without using a car,” said U.S. Congressman Jay Inslee. “I have worked in Congress to secure federal funding for this project, and I’m pleased to see that construction on the Mountlake Terrace Freeway Station will soon be underway.”

“This project will accomplish so much for this region—it’s an efficient use of taxpayer dollars by integrating our transportation systems and maximizing our infrastructure, and it creates almost 150 jobs when we need it most,” said Paula Hammond, Washington State Secretary of Transportation.

The project includes northbound and southbound direct access on- and off-ramps exclusively for buses, making it easier and faster for them to enter and exit the freeway and pick up passengers without being slowed down by local traffic. Along with the South Everett Freeway Station, which opened last September, the Mountlake Terrace Freeway Station will be the second of Sound Transit’s Snohomish County facilities located in the freeway median, and the fourth with direct freeway access ramps.

“When we all work together and integrate our transportation systems like we’ve done here, we’re giving taxpayers the best bang for their buck” said Sound Transit and Community Transit Boardmember and Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine.

Once the Mountlake Terrace Freeway Station is complete, Sound Transit will be able to add Mountlake Terrace to its regional express bus system. The direct access ramps to northbound and southbound I-5 will allow ST Express and Community Transit buses to serve this growing community while only adding two minutes to the commute time.

“The Mountlake Terrace project and all the projects coming our way with the ST2 plan are good for transit, good for the public and good for the environment,” said Sound Transit Boardmember and Everett City Councilmember Paul Roberts.

“We are really happy to see this day finally come,” said Mountlake Terrace Mayor Jerry Smith. “This freeway station will bring better transit choices to our doorstep.”