South Bellevue Park-and-Ride garage to open this fall
Collaboration with the City of Bellevue, on-time construction will allow the garage to open nearly two years before East Link begins operation
Sound Transit will open the parking garage at the future East Link South Bellevue Station in September. On-time construction and close collaboration with the City of Bellevue made it possible for Sound Transit to open the garage to bus riders nearly two years before the scheduled opening of East Link.
ST Express route 550 riders and King County Metro riders who had to use alternative parking spaces when East Link construction began in 2017 will be able to return to the new garage at the same park-and-ride location. Bus stop and schedule information will be announced later this year as part of the September 2021 service change.
"Over the next few years, Sound Transit will be delivering 28 light rail stations across 40 new miles of light rail, along with three new bus rapid transit lines," Sound Transit Boardmember Claudia Balducci said. "South Bellevue Park and Ride’s early opening represents one of the very first steps in this major system expansion and demonstrates that, together, we will accomplish big things to make our region more livable and economically competitive via great transit."
In 2015, Sound Transit and the City of Bellevue agreed to evaluate early opening opportunities for the new parking garage in South Bellevue. To that end, contracts were executed in an order that would facilitate opening the parking garage in advance of light rail service. Currently, the project contractors, Shimmick/Parsons Joint Venture, and Mass Electric Co., are completing civil and systems work in South Bellevue. That work will conclude this summer, with final commissioning and testing activities in the garage. Additional construction will continue in the station and the light rail guideway, although those activities are not expected to impact the parking garage and bus transit operations.
The garage facade features artwork by Seattle artist Katy Stone. Stone's impression of the nearby Mercer Slough Nature Park is one of constant motion: wind in the trees, birds flying through the air, little waves in the water. Her sculpture for the roofline of the station's garage is reminiscent of a stand of cattails blowing in the wind and her designs for the garage screening may suggest ripples in the water or wind blowing through stands of reeds. Garage and station designs are the product of HJH, a joint venture consisting of HNTB, Jacobs and Mott McDonald.
When East Link opens, riders will be able to travel traffic-free between South Bellevue and the downtown Seattle International District in 14 minutes, SeaTac Airport in 48 minutes. Find more information about East Link at https://www.soundtransit.org/system-expansion/east-link-extension.