Progress is starting to rumble on Sound Transit’s Redmond Link Extension

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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Work has begun on the Downtown Redmond Link Extension project.
Sound Transit

Redmond, Wash., area residents and travelers will see more activity as work intensifies in extending light rail to Redmond. The 3.4-mile Downtown Redmond Link Extension will extend the line from the Redmond Technology Station with two stations, serving southeast Redmond at Marymoor Park, and the downtown residential and retail core. Work, including structure demolition, utility relocation and removal of existing trees, will take place primarily along S.R. 520. Light rail and station construction will start next year.

Service on the Downtown Redmond Link Extension begins in 2024, following the 2023 opening of light rail between downtown Seattle and Redmond’s Overlake area. The trip from downtown Redmond to Westlake will take 45 minutes, and the trip between downtown Redmond and Bellevue downtown will take just 18 minutes, with service every six minutes during peak hours. Project details, including a video of the final design, are available online.

Sound Transit will replant more than 12,000 trees to replace approximately 3,000 trees crews must remove for construction. Tree replacement locations include station areas, along streets in the city of Redmond, the Redmond Central Connector trail corridor, Bear Creek, King County wetland and stream areas, Marymoor Park, and along the S.R. 520 corridor. 

The Downtown Redmond Link project is the result of intensive collaboration between the city of Redmond, the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, King County Metro Transit, and the Washington State Department of Transportation. Sound Transit worked with these partners to minimize the construction impact and leverage the light-rail project to deliver other public improvements such as new regional trail connections. 

As part of the project, Sound Transit will restore more than 500 ft of Bear Creek and its flood plain. Restoration will include:

  • Removing an old creosote-treated railroad trestle, rubble and culverts;
  • Widening the channel and flood plain;
  • Removing fill and rubble to improve connectivity with the creek and its flood plain;
  • Improving fish and wildlife habitat by placing large woody material in the stream channel and flood plain;
  • Enhancing off-channel habitat for juvenile salmonids; and
  • Enhancing more than four acres of riparian buffer through the removal of invasive vegetation and replanting native trees and shrubs.

Thanks to strong partnerships with the city of Redmond and King County, the Downtown Redmond Link project includes improved trail connections that will make it easier for people on foot and bicycles to access transit. Improvements include integrating the Redmond Central Connector into the downtown station, connecting the East Lake Sammamish Trail to the Redmond Central Connector and Bear Creek Trail, and connecting the station in southeast Redmond to Marymoor Park and the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

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Categories: Commuter/Regional, Intercity, Passenger, Rail News, Railroad News, Rapid Transit/Light Rail, Track Construction
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