West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions

Serving regional jobs, dense neighborhoods
Project map for West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions

West Seattle/Ballard project updates

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Overview

The West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions will provide fast, reliable light rail connections to dense residential and job centers throughout the region. In addition, a new downtown Seattle light rail tunnel will provide capacity for the entire regional system to operate efficiently. These two separate Link extensions are part of the regional transit system expansion approved by voters in November 2016.

  • West Seattle to downtown
    • Adds 4.7 miles of light rail service from downtown Seattle to West Seattle's Alaska Junction neighborhood.
    • Includes 4 new stations between SODO and Alaska Junction.
  • Ballard to downtown
    • Adds 7.1 miles of light rail service from downtown Seattle to Ballard, including a new downtown Seattle rail-only tunnel.
    • Includes 9 new stations between Chinatown-International District and Market Street.

Current project status

Sound Transit and the Federal Transit Administrative have published the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extension Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). This Draft EIS evaluates potential impacts and benefits of the alternatives on the natural, built and social environment, and identifies potential mitigation measures. The Sound Transit Board will consider the analysis in the Draft EIS, comments received on the Draft EIS, and other information before confirming or modifying the preferred alternative for the project later this year. Comments on the Draft EIS will be accepted from Jan. 28, 2022 through April 28, 2022. To learn more about the project and how to comment, please visit our online open house.

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What can I expect as a project neighbor?

  • If you're a resident, business or property owner near a potential WSBLE route or station alternative, signing up for email updates is the first step to ensuring you are up to speed on the project. If you have any questions or you would like to set up a meeting to learn more, contact the project team at wsblink@soundtransit.org.
  • The Draft EIS will evaluate potential impacts to residences and businesses. You will have opportunities to comment on those findings after we publish the Draft EIS in early 2022. The Sound Transit Board carefully considers the feedback we receive through this formal comment process, and we will respond to all comments. 
  • After the Draft EIS public review and comment period, the Board will modify or confirm the "preferred alternative" for the Final EIS, expected to occur in 2023. A preferred alternative is a statement of where the agency is leaning based on information available at the time. It is not a final decision.
  • The Sound Transit Board will make a final decision on routes, stations and the project to be built after we issue the Final EIS in 2023.