The Sound Transit Board unanimously approved the preferred alternative for the Lynnwood Link Extension during Thursday’s Board meeting in Seattle.
The preferred alternative features four stations, including an elevated station at the Lynnwood Transit Center, and added parking in Lynnwood. Two additional elevated stations are planned at the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center and at NE 145th Street in Shoreline. The fourth station is at NE 185th in Shoreline.
Lynnwood Community Development Director Paul Krauss praised the Sound Transit Board and its staff during Public Comment before the vote.
“The process effectively considered the varied interests of my community, and I believe the region,” Krauss said. “It took countless hours of staff time, work with electeds and extensive community outreach to get to where we are today. In additional I think the proposal before you today carefully balances the obligations of meeting the expectations of voters who approved ST2, service goals that have been established and spending targets.”
Mountlake Terrace City Manager Arlene Fisher also was pleased with the Board’s decision.
“We’re very excited to see this project move forward,” she said. “It’s going to enhance transportation in Snohomish County and in our region.”
From NE 185th Street in Shoreline, the route will proceed along the east side of I-5 to the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center at 236th Street SW. An elevated station bridging over 236th Street SW will be provided and the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center will be reconfigured to accommodate the station.
The route will proceed on an elevated guideway across I-5, transitioning to the west side of the interstate and then proceed to and over 220th Street SW. Low cost infrastructure improvements that are both consistent with the Sound Transit 2 plan and necessary to avoid substantial disruption of future light-rail operations will be made to facilitate construction of a station near 220th Street SW, if approved.
The route will proceed along the west side of I-5 to approximately 50th Avenue W. where it will turn north to cross over the Interurban trail and Scriber Creek on elevated guideway and enter the Lynnwood Park and Ride Lot.
An elevated station and about 1,300-stall parking garage that will consolidate and increase total Lynnwood Park and Ride parking to 1,900 stalls will be provided adjacent to the Lynnwood Transit Center. The elevated guideway will extend beyond the station and over 44th Avenue W. to provide tail tracks for train layover and turn-back options.
It’s expected that 63,000-74,000 riders will use light rail per day in 2035 with up to 22,000 new riders.
The Lynnwood Link stations will be developed will be developed with consideration for pedestrian, bus transit, passenger drop-off and pick-up and bicycle access to link the light rail link with surrounding neighborhoods.
Sound Transit plans to provide opportunities for affected neighborhoods to have input on the design of the Lynnwood Link stations and other project elements.
Final design is expected to start in January 2016 with construction slated to start in 2018 and service in 2023.
“It seems like 2023 is a long way off but hopefully construction will begin shortly,” Krauss said.