Sound Transit: double groundbreaking in Snohomish County for I-5's first direct access ramps

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Sound Transit today broke ground at two Snohomish County locations on the latest additions to the area's mass transit system: new direct access ramps to and from I-5's HOV lanes at the Ash Way Park-and-Ride and Lynnwood Transit Center. The ramps will provide bus riders with significantly improved transit times - up to 30 minutes on some round trips between Snohomish and King counties.

"Sound Transit is making good on its commitment to deliver results for Snohomish County and the entire region," said Sound Transit Board member/Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel. "These direct access ramps are another success story in fulfilling the mission to build a transportation system with express buses, commuter rail, light rail, and capital projects like these."

"These projects represent nearly $50 million in new commitments from Sound Transit for Snohomish County improvements," said Sound Transit Board member/Edmonds City Councilman Dave Earling. "They also bring new family-wage construction jobs to Snohomish County during these rough economic times."

In addition to reducing transit times and increasing service reliability, the projects will benefit all I-5 travelers by allowing buses to reach their off-freeway destinations without having to cross several lanes of traffic. The Lynnwood ramps will also be open to carpools and vanpools, further increasing the benefits.

When the facilities are complete, a commuter between Snohomish and King counties whose bus passes through both facilities will save up to 30 minutes daily - an estimated 10 minutes southbound and 20 minutes northbound.

The Ash Way ramp will provide direct access to and from the southbound lanes of I-5 beginning in 2004. Tri-State Construction is the general contractor. The Sound Transit budget is $18.43 million. The Lynnwood ramps will provide direct access to both the northbound and southbound lanes of I-5 beginning in spring 2005. The general contractor is Mowat Construction. Sound Transit's budget for the project is $31.16 million.

The projects have been supported by strong partnerships with the Washington State Department of Transportation, Community Transit, the cities of Kenmore and Lynnwood and the federal government.

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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.