Sound Transit kicks off open houses on North Link light rail design

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Tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 13) Sound Transit will kick off a series of six open houses for community members to participate as Sound Transit moves forward with designs for the North Link light rail project.

North Link will expand the Central Link initial segment that is now under construction, serving some of the state's largest employment and population areas. By 2030, the entire Central Link line is expected to serve more than 150,000 riders daily, making it one of the nation's most effective new transportation systems.

In May 2004, the Sound Transit Board identified a preferred North Link light rail route running from downtown Seattle to First Hill, Capitol Hill, the University District and eventually to Roosevelt and Northgate. Sound Transit will host an open house in each area.

 

University District
6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13
University Heights Community Center
5031 University Way N.E., Seattle

Roosevelt
6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14
John Marshall High School
520 N.E. Ravenna Blvd., Seattle

Northgate
6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Tuesday, Oct. 19
Olympic View Elementary Cafeteria
504 N.E. 95th St., Seattle

Montlake
6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21
Montlake Community Center
1618 E. Calhoun, Seattle

First Hill
6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26
Town Hall
1119 8th Ave., Seattle

Capitol Hill
6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27
Seattle Central Community College
Room 1110 Edison Building
1701 Broadway, Seattle

Community members are encouraged to visit www.soundtransit.org and sign up for project updates by contacting Brooke Belman at (206) 398-5238 or belmanb@soundtransit.org.

North Link is only one part of Sound Transit's effort to plan for the region's transportation future. With Puget Sound expected to grow by 1.2 million people over the next 20 years, getting around is going to be more challenging than ever. That is why the Board of Directors has asked the agency to undertake two major initiatives: (1) detailed studies on the preferred North Link route and stations, and (2) a region-wide planning effort to look at ways to meet future growth and transportation demands. Sound Transit will use this work to evaluate options, priorities and costs, as well as ways to fund these key investments in our regional mass transit system.

The North Link work and public outreach that are underway now will provide the critical information needed for a thorough understanding of the costs and challenges associated with the project. Sound Transit will continue hosting open houses in October and early 2005 to obtain public feedback on station design issues. Sound Transit is also completing North Link's Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) and proceeding with engineering on the preferred route so it will be eligible for federal funding. The FSEIS will be completed in Spring 2005, and approval of a detailed route and cost estimates is expected in mid-2005.

At the same time, Sound Transit has kicked off its effort to plan for potential future expansions to our existing regional mass transit system. The fist step is updating the Long Range Plan for our regional system and undertaking the necessary environmental studies. In November 2004, the agency will be releasing the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) for the plan update. In early 2005, Sound Transit will host public meetings and engage in a range of other outreach efforts to solicit public comment on the DSEIS. The agency will also work with the public to finalize the Long Range Plan and set priorities for the next steps in the expansion of our regional mass transit system.

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