Publisher’s note: This is the fourth of our regular updates on future Lynnwood housing, mixed-use and commercial developments. This series will also include updates on citywide transportation improvements.
Construction of Sound Transit’s Lynnwood Link light rail expansion is speeding along as the project nears 50% completion sometime this summer, according to the transit authority.
The 8.5-mile extension will bring light rail into Snohomish County serving four stations — two in Shoreline, one in Mountlake Terrace and one in Lynnwood. Heading south from Lynnwood, riders will be able to get to downtown Seattle in 28 minutes. By 2026, it is projected the light rail will serve 47,000-55,000 daily riders. Service from Lynnwood is scheduled to start in 2024.
So far, 75% of the girders have been installed and overall, the $2.9 billion project is more than one-third complete, said Sound Transit spokesperson John Gallagher.
“We’re moving along at a really nice rate,” he said.
Last year, Gov. Jay Inslee issued an executive order temporarily halted all “nonessential” construction in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once crews were able to return to work, Gallagher said they were able to get more work done since fewer people were commuting due to the governor’s stay-home order.
At the Lynnwood Transit Center, workers are constructing the parking garage that will include approximately 1,665 parking stalls in a five-story structure. Along with adjacent surface lots containing 226 stalls, the station will have nearly 1,900 parking spaces — roughly 500 more stalls than are on the current transit center site.
Garage construction began last October. Soon, crews will begin pouring the foundation for the first level before moving on to the higher levels. According to Gallagher, underground work on the garage – which takes the majority of time — was recently completed behind the scenes.
The garage is scheduled to open before completion of the light rail.
The project also hit a recent milestone when crews poured concrete for the last of the 188 pillars that will be used to elevate portions of the track. Gallagher said the project is 50% elevated and 50% at surface level running parallel with traffic.
This summer, Gallagher said crews will begin working on the tracks crossing over Interstate 5 near the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center, which requires a customized installation. Currently, commuters can see the wooden falsework set in place where crews will install the piece. The Washington State Department of Transportation requires a height clearance of 16 feet 6 inches, but Gallagher said the crossover’s clearance will exceed that.
–Story and photos by Cody Sexton