Sound Transit Board identifies additional alternatives for environmental study for West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions

New alternatives join options already under study

Publish Date

The Sound Transit Board of Directors has identified two additional alternatives for study in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) of the 11.8-mile West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions project. The action resulted from a Board directive in May that staff conduct initial assessments of potential new alternatives suggested during the project scoping period to establish whether further detailed study in the DEIS is appropriate.   

Specifically, the Board added to the study:

Yancy/Andover Elevated – An elevated alignment along the Yancy/Andover corridor in West Seattle with a Delridge station serving Youngstown. Connects to previously identified EIS alternatives serving Avalon and Alaska Junction areas.

SODO Partial Elevated – A refinement of the alternative suggested during the EIS scoping period. Elevate new SODO station and retain existing SODO station at-grade. Retain Lander Street at-grade and construct new Holgate Street overcrossing.

These alternatives will be analyzed in the DEIS along with the previously Board-identified preferred alternatives, preferred alternatives with third-party funding, and other alternatives. Those can be found at https://www.soundtransit.org/system-expansion/west-seattle-ballard-link-extensions.

Sound Transit will prepare the DEIS, followed by a public and agency comment period in late 2020 and early 2021, respectively. The Sound Transit Board would then confirm or modify the preferred alternative after consideration of the environmental evaluation as well as public and agency comment. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is anticipated to be complete in 2022, after which the Board will select the project to be built and seek a Record of Decision from the Federal Transit Administration. 

In the near term, people can learn more about the alternatives being studied in the DEIS at an upcoming neighborhood forum. Scheduled for November and December, forums will be held in Ballard/Interbay, Downtown Seattle, Chinatown/International District, Delridge and West Seattle. Go to https://wsblink.participate.online for dates, times and locations.

When construction is complete in 2030 and 2035, respectively, the West Seattle and Ballard light rail extensions will provide fast, reliable light rail connections to dense residential and job centers. The project will also include a new light rail tunnel in downtown Seattle that will add regional system capacity to operate more trains at faster frequencies as light rail expands to Northgate, Bellevue, Redmond, Lynnwood, Federal Way, Tacoma, Everett and other communities. 

More information on this project and subscriptions for project updates are available at https://www.soundtransit.org/system-expansion/west-seattle-ballard-link-extensions.