Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sound Transit begins final design for East Link light rail

Sound Transit is kicking off the final design process for the East Link light rail extension's Downtown Bellevue segment with an open house to be held May 16 at Bellevue City Hall.

The East Link light rail alignment is now final following the April 25 action by the Sound Transit Board, approving cost-saving options identified in conjunction with the city of Bellevue, reducing the project's cost by $30 to $53 million. The final design process will advance design work from approximately 30 percent to 100 percent completion.

Attendees of the open house will learn about station designs and permanent station names.

Riding East Link between Seattle and Downtown Bellevue is projected to take less than 20 minutes. By comparison, in the afternoon peak period it can currently take approximately 45 minutes to travel between Seattle and Bellevue via I-90.

As the region's population continues growing, East Link will provide new transportation capacity to the I-90 corridor. Increases in the length and frequency of trains through time offer the capacity to carry 9,000 to 12,000 people per hour in each direction, which would more than double the person-carrying capacity of I-90 and is roughly equivalent to seven to 10 freeway lanes of vehicle traffic. By 2030, East Link is projected to carry more than 50,000 riders each weekday.

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