The Sound Transit Board has selected an elevated light-rail alignment in downtown Redmond, Wash., that incorporates refinements the board recommended for further study in 2017.
The decision progresses the Downtown Redmond Link Extension project closer to the start of construction in 2019. Officials said this means service could begin in 2024, one year after the opening of light-rail to Redmond’s Overlake area.
“Strong partnerships between the city of Redmond, Sound Transit and our other regional partners have enabled us to move forward with light rail in Redmond that will be a win for transit riders, drivers and pedestrians alike,” said Sound Transit Board Vice Chair and Redmond Mayor John Marchione. “We look forward to breaking ground on this long-anticipated project next year.”
The extension will extends the East Link project by 3.4 miles. Officials said the alignment incorporates refinements selected through collaboration with the city of Redmond, the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, King County Metro Transit and the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The features are expected to improve service reliability and safety by separating trains from vehicle and pedestrian traffic, Sound Transit said.
“When Downtown Redmond Link opens in 2024, people will be able to travel congestion-free to destinations across our region, from Redmond, to Bellevue, to Seattle, to Lynnwood, to Federal Way,” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. “With connections from Link light rail to bus rapid transit and local transit service, people will enjoy greater mobility and more places where they can conveniently live, work and play.”
Starting at the future Redmond Technology Station, the route will continue to run along the SR 520 corridor to an at-grade southeast Redmond station located near the SR 520 and SR 202 intersection.
The southeast Redmond station will include about 1,400 parking spaces as well as bike parking and bus transfer facilities, officials said.
After the southeast Redmond station, the route will turn west under SR 520 using the former BNSF Railway corridor, where it will be elevated to cross Bear Creek and terminate at an elevated station at 166th Avenue Northeast and the Redmond Central Connector Trail.
Officials are currently finalizing a cost estimate for the project presentation to the Sound Transit Board in October.
The initial step (RFQ phase) of selecting a contractor for this project has begun and the next phase of this process, the Request for Proposals, is set to occur later this year.