Installing monitoring equipment in advance of light rail tunneling under University of Washington Campus

Publish Date
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Construction crews building the Northgate Link Extension light rail tunnels will be installing monitoring equipment on the University of Washington Campus beginning in August 2014. The equipment will monitor the ground, utilities, and buildings located above the light rail alignment during tunneling on campus. The monitors will be installed in several locations across campus over the next couple of months. 

What to expect
Crews will be installing various types of monitors. You may observe the following on campus during this work:

  • Hours: Activities between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Drilling Activities: Drilling into grass, asphalt or concrete, removing ground material and installing the monitor. Drilling will sound similar to a truck running with occasional hammering sounds. The vacuum truck will make noise while soil material is being removed (during the first few feet of drilling at each location). Drill rigs and support equipment may be temporarily stationed on streets or parking lots overnight during this work.
  • Equipment: Drill rig, trucks, traffic signage and cones, vaccum trucks, ladders 
  • Access: Pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorist traffic will be maintained. Some locations may require temporary lane or sidewalk closures. There may also be impacts to street parking. Traffic cones, No Parking signage, roadway signage, and flaggers may be used when travel lanes or parking areas are affected during this work.
  • Stickers on buildings: Building monitoring stickers, called structural settlement points, are 3"x3" stickers that crews affix to the outside of buildings and check regularly for any movement.

Tunneling is under way

Tunneling has begun for Northgate Link Extension. The light rail link includes a 0.9-mile underground tunnel under the University of Washington campus between the U District Station and the University of Washington Station. The tunnel boring machines are expected to arrive at U District Station in late 2015.