Sound Transit’s South Bellevue Station in Need of Tile Repairs After Poor Installation

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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Sound Transit’s South Bellevue Station needs repairs on its broken platform tiles.
Courtesy of Sound Transit

BELLEVUE, Wash. – Sound Transit’s South Bellevue Station needs repairs on its broken platform tiles.

King 5 has reported Sound Transit’s South Bellevue Station needs repairs on its “broken and defective platform tiles.” Officials for Sound Transit said that it needs to replace all of the platform tile as well as the supporting mortar bed on the platform and mezzanine areas. 

According to the report, the broken tiles that were installed “were not meant to be used outdoors.”  Additionally, the agency reported issues with tiles cracking or “tenting. . . caused by improper installation of expansion joints.”

Courtesy of Sound Transit

Sound Transit said: “All of this could pose safety issues for our passengers, and the tiles need to be replaced. . . We’re glad to have discovered the issue in time to fix it before service begins.” K5 reports that the construction of the station was completed in August of 2022 by Shimmick-Parsons Joint Venture. Sound Transit commented that the contractor “refused to complete these repairs despite a demand to do so.”

Courtesy of Sound Transit

Next week, repairs and construction will start on the station with a projected completion date of January of next year. A map below of Sound Transit’s East Link Extension shows the South Bellevue Station. 

Courtesy of Sound Transit

The Extension is a project that spans 14 miles and 10 new stations that run from Microsoft Campus in Redmond to Judkins Park and costs $3.8 billion. In order for the East Link Start Line to start service, the repairs must be completed in a timely manner.

Last month, the Sound Transit Board of Directors voted to “move forward with the East Link light rail Starter Line, which will begin service in March 2024,” and runs from South Bellevue Station to Redmond Technology Station.

The agency has said that of the total East Link Extension budget of $3.68 billion, $43 million of it will be used to “implement the East Link Starter Line.” According to the report, the cost of the starter line after its opening is $34 million, “which would be included in the proposed 2024 agency budget.” It also commented that “Sound Transit is working to recover the cost of repairs from SPJV.”

Last week, East Link Extension project officials authorized a contract with Balfour Beatty Construction totaling $3 million in order to repair the tiles at South Bellevue Station. Balfour Beatty Construction was hired by Sound Transit earlier this year to finish construction work on “the East Link’s 10 stations.”

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