Sound Transit to begin drilling for soil and core samples beneath Seattle to study potential Link light rail routes

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Sound Transit ­ the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority - will begin drilling below Seattle streets to study the geology and soil properties beneath potential Link light rail routes. The first of about two dozen borings will begin on Monday, March 16, on Seattle's Capitol Hill on 10th Avenue E. near the intersection of Broadway and Roy Street.  

Collecting the soil samples is the first phase of an extensive geotechnical data analysis that will examine the feasibility of alternative Link light rail routes. Subsequent samplings will take place over the next two months from Capitol Hill north to the University District, followed by samplings from the Rainier Valley neighborhood. Existing data from geotechnical studies done for previous construction projects will provide information to supplement the geological analysis.  

Borings at each site will take two to five days to complete. Sites have been selected that will minimize disruption to traffic and to neighboring businesses and residences as much as possible. The exact schedule for each boring will depend on the time required to complete operations at the previous sites (locations and a tentative schedule are attached). 

The Link light rail system consists of a 24-mile line connecting the cities of Seattle, Tukwila and SeaTac as well as a 1.6 mile system connecting downtown Tacoma and the Tacoma Dome commuter station. Sound Transit is also on track in developing Sounder commuter rail, an 81-mile system running from Everett to Tacoma/Lakewood; and the Regional Express bus system which will connect the major metropolitan areas of Bellevue, Everett, Tacoma and Seattle with other cities and neighborhoods throughout the three-county region with fast, limited stop bus service.  


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