Project update: East Link Extension

Publish Date

Paving the way for East Link – prepare for weekend roadwork

This weekend, the Washington State Department of Transportation and Sound Transit will continue work on I-90 as part of the Two-Way Transit project which is adding carpool lanes to the outer roadways in both of directions of I-90 between Seattle and Bellevue. The project sets the stage for light rail service in the center roadway across I-90.

During this weekend's work, crews will detour westbound I-90 traffic into the express lanes from 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday as crews work inside the Mount Baker and Mercer Island tunnels. If you're traveling across Lake Washington, be sure to check WSDOT's Seattle traffic website or call 511 before you head out for the latest traffic information. Also, give yourself extra time to reach your destination. This is the second of up to 30 weekend-long closures between now and mid-2017. For specific detour information including Mercer Island and Rainier Avenue traffic, click here.

Advanced stormwater utility relocation in Bel-Red

You may begin to see stormwater utility relocation activity as early as mid-April near NE Spring Blvd and 136th Pl NE, close to the future 130th light rail station. Before light rail construction begins, existing utility lines need to be relocated. The stormwater utility work is one of a series of utility relocations in Bel-Red by Sound Transit and multiple utility providers in preparation for East Link construction.

Sound Transit's stormwater utility relocation work will begin as early as mid-April 2015, followed by work by Olympic Pipeline (OPL) shortly thereafter when OPL will relocate infrastructure out of the future East Link construction work area. During stormwater utility relocation, expect temporary single-lane closures at the intersection of 136th Pl NE and NE Spring Blvd between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more information or to sign up to receive Bel-Red-specific East Link updates, contact Abby Chazanow, Community Outreach Specialist, at or 206-398-LINK.

Regional connections to Link

The conversation around improving connections between buses and light rail when new Link service begins continued Wednesday at Bellevue City Hall. With the University Link Extension scheduled to open in early 2016, King County Metro and Sound Transit have developed two alternative concepts for how bus service could be integrated with light rail.

In advance of East Link opening, you can expect the same conversation to take place as the two agencies seek to integrate bus and rail services to complement one another and maximize efficiency in the regional transportation system.

For more information about the efforts to integrate service as part of the University Link Extension, visit King County Metro's Link Connections website.