Operations and Maintenance Facility South project updates
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Before we can launch our voter-approved Link light rail extension in the South Sound, we first need a new Operations and Maintenance Facility by 2026 to receive, store and service a larger train fleet.
An Operations and Maintenance Facility is where Link trains go for cleaning, storage and care, and it's open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. To build this new facility, we need approximately 60-70 acres (for reference, one football field is 1.3 acres) near a light rail line.
We service our current light rail trains at a central OMF on South Forest Street in Seattle, but we're building a second facility in Bellevue and will also add another north of Seattle as part of system expansion plans.
What are the benefits of the OMF South?
- Creates high-skilled, living-wage jobs for more than 470 people in South King County. At our existing OMF, the average employee wage is more than $40 per hour, or $80,000/year.
- Ensures thousands of passengers rely on clean, well-maintained trains. We suspend service every night between 1-5 a.m. so we can properly service our Link trains.
- Enables nightly safety inspections of light rail tracks.
Current project status
We received public comments on the OMF South project during the Environmental Impact Statement scoping period, Feb. 19-April 1, 2019.
We compiled the public feedback from this official comment period into a Scoping Summary Report. On May 23, 2019, the Sound Transit Board of Directors identified three sites to study in the Draft EIS.
A Draft EIS analyzes and documents the sites' potential impacts to the natural and built environment, and it proposes ways to mitigate unavoidable impacts. During this current phase, we'll continue with more conceptual design work, including potential changes to site configurations.
Your next opportunity to submit feedback on the three potential OMF South sites will be in fall 2020, after we publish the Draft EIS.
What can I expect as a project neighbor?
- If you're a resident, business or property owner near a potential OMF South site, we encourage you to sign up for project email updates. If you have any questions, contact the project team at email@example.com.
- The Draft Environmental Impact Statement will evaluate possible property impacts in detail. You'll have opportunities to comment on the Draft EIS in fall 2020.
- After the Draft EIS public review and comment period, the Sound Transit Board will identify a site as a "preferred alternative" for the Final EIS, in late 2020. A preferred alternative is a statement of where the agency is leaning based on information available at the time. It's not a final decision.
- The Sound Transit Board will make a final decision on the site and the project to be built after we issue the Final EIS in 2021.
Aerial view of the Operations and Maintenance Facility in Seattle.
An inside look at the Operations and Maintenance Facility in Seattle.
Workers perform maintenance on Link light rail trains every night at the Operations and Maintenance Facility in Seattle.