Sound Transit has released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the light-rail line between Northgate and Lynnwood.
The 8.5-mile Lynnwood Link light-rail extension is estimated to carry 60,000-70,000 riders each weekday through one of the most congested travel corridors in the region. It is scheduled to open in 2023. Lynnwood Link will connect to the light-rail segment currently under construction between Husky Stadium and Northgate scheduled to open in 2021 and bring light rail to Snohomish County for the first time.
Lynnwood Link is the northernmost of the more than 30 miles of Sound Transit 2 Plan light-rail extensions approved by voters in 2008. By 2023, Sound Transit is also scheduled to open an eastward extension to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond’s Overlake area and a southward extension to the Kent/DesMoines area. By 2030, Link is expected to carry more than 80 million riders annually.
The DEIS outlines 72 alignment combinations with six potential stations serving North Seattle, Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood. It examines benefits and impacts associated with running at grade along the I-5 corridor, on elevated trackway, or in a trench section through portions of the alignment. Cost estimates for the project range from $1.2 to $1.7 billion.
The DEIS describes potential impacts and benefits of the light-rail route and station alternatives on the surrounding area; where adverse impacts are identified, the DEIS identifies potential mitigation measures to avoid or minimize those impacts. It also includes an assessment of transit-oriented development potential for each of the possible stations, along with analysis of park-and-ride options, both of which could help local residents and regional commuters access ligh- rail service in their communities.
After a preferred alternative is identified, Sound Transit staff will complete the final environmental impact statement to be published in 2014. The board could make a final decision on stations and alignment in early 2015.