West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions

Serving regional jobs, dense neighborhoods

Timeline and milestones

  • Voter approval (2016)

  • Milestone Target
    Alternatives development
    Board identifies preferred and other Draft EIS alternatives
    Draft Environmental Impact Statement 2019 - 2022
    Board confirms or modifies the Preferred Alternative 2022
    Final Environmental Impact Statement 2022 - 2023
    Board selects project to be built 2023
    Federal Record of Decision 2023
  •  Both extensions are scheduled to begin design in 2023, and we expect West Seattle to conclude by 2026. The Ballard extension, which also includes a new downtown Seattle tunnel, is scheduled to finish design in 2027

    Milestone
    Final route design
    Final station designs
    Procure and commission station and public art
    Obtain land use and construction permits
    Property acquisition/relocation
  • Both extensions are scheduled to begin construction and testing in 2026, with West Seattle concluding in 2032. The Ballard extension could be delivered all at once, or in phases. See below for more information.  

    Milestone
    Groundbreaking
    Construction updates and mitigation
    Safety education
    Testing and pre-operations
  • Start of service (West Seattle 2032; Ballard 2037-2039*)

COVID-19 has impacted Sound Transit’s work with partners to advance WSBLE environmental review, and in August 2021, the Sound Transit Board also concluded a realignment process to adjust some project plans and timelines due to financial constraints. 

*The Board’s realigned capital plan identifies 2032 as the timeframe we can affordably deliver service from SODO to West Seattle. At the same time, Sound Transit is managing the Ballard Link Extension toward a 2037 delivery target by working to close a project affordability gap most recently forecasted at $1.8 billion. We’re seeking to reduce or eliminate this gap by increasing funding and support at the local, state and national levels, and by reducing costs as the Board considers and adopts project alignment options with input from partners and the public. If it is not possible to close the gap, current financial assumptions reflect Sound Transit’s ability to affordably open service to Smith Cove in 2037, and to Ballard in 2039.

We’ll track fiscal challenges very closely as we work with partner jurisdictions and stakeholders to advance this project. The projects’ ultimate timelines will come into greater focus as we advance the environmental review process and project design.