A landslide, poor concrete supports, and worker strike push back opening for Sound Transit lines

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
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Workers are now pulling track on the I-90 floating bridge.

A variety of factors have forced a group of Sound Transit light rail projects to be delayed, pushing back the opening of the lines.

The East Link, Redmond, Lynnwood, and Federal Way extensions are all running late. Perhaps the biggest issue lies on the I-90 floating bridge, where workers are pulling up 4 miles of track because concrete supports were either built to the wrong dimensions or built with poor concrete. Mortar pads, rebar, and track fasteners all have problems. The track is looking at a 2024 opening. The I-90 problems also will place the Redmond extension start time to 2025.

Mother Earth has caused the delay of the Federal Way extension, as a recent 200-ft landslide was a red flag for engineers. The thought now is the ground is more unstable than originally thought, so columns need to be sunk deeper into the soil. Work will not be complete until 2025.

Sound Transit said the concrete worker strike has set the opening of the Lynwood extension back to 2025.

“I want to emphasize that every challenge … is resolvable and we will open these transformative projects, and we will do so as rapidly as possible with our chief priority being our passengers’ needs for safety, quality, and long-term durability,” said Sound Transit interim CEO Brooke Belman.

Read more articles on track maintenance.

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