Cost savings decision
The East Link Extension gained a lot of momentum recently when the Sound Transit Board and the Bellevue City Council both unanimously approved final refinements to the route and station locations in Bellevue.
Sound Transit and the City have been working together the last 16 months on options for reducing the cost of the East Link Extension. The refinements selected, which could reduce total costs by an estimated $30 million to $53 million, include:
- Bellevue Way: Light rail will remain in a trench along Bellevue Way S.E., in front of the historic Winters House.
- 112th Avenue S.E.: Light rail will run under a new 112th Avenue S.E. overpass built near S.E. 15th Street and cross S.E. 4th at-grade providing access to emergency vehicles.
- Downtown station: A downtown tunnel station is replaced with an above-grade station on N.E. Sixth Street.
These decisions allow Sound Transit to advance final design on the full 14-mile project and to prepare for property acquisition. Sound Transit staff plans to return to the Board of Directors in May and June to request authority to begin residential property purchases.