Update: Lynnwood Link light rail

Friday, June 29, 2012

From Sound Transit
reprinted with permission

Project background
The Lynnwood Link Extension is part of the voter-approved Sound Transit 2 Plan to extend mass transit throughout the region. Once completed in 2023, the project will be the northern extension of a light rail system that will provide more than 50 miles of service to the north, south and east of Seattle.

Visit the project website to learn about project.

North Corridor Transit Project - now Lynnwood Link Extension project!
Why a new name? Early in the planning process, Sound Transit needed a project name that encompassed several modes of transit considered in the Alternatives Analysis phase. Now that light rail has been confirmed as the best transit mode  to serve the Interstate 5 corridor between Northgate and Lynnwood, the new name appropriately includes Link light rail and the proposed line’s end point.

The project name change follows a recently approved policy for naming Sound Transit facilities and the Link light rail operating systems.

Route and Station Alternatives for Environmental Review
Sound Transit is moving ahead to study in-depth route and station options to extend light rail from Northgate to Lynnwood. Following 3 public scoping meetings in October 2011, 10 community drop-in sessions in March 2012 and additional technical analysis, the Sound Transit Board identified specific route and station alternatives for light rail along I-5 to be studied in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (draft EIS). The Lynnwood Link Extension is now entering the environmental review phase of the project and the project team will be preparing the draft EIS scheduled to be published in mid-2013.

The draft EIS will identify the potential benefits and impacts associated with building the route and stations at the following locations along I-5: NE 130th St., NE 145th St., NE 155th St., NE 185th St., 236th St. SW, 220th St. SW, and the Lynnwood Transit Center. A total of 13 alternatives are being considered across three segments.

About the Route and Station Alternatives
  • At-grade and elevated tracks or a combination of both will be evaluated for each route alternative.
  • Each alternative serves the Northgate Transit Center and the Lynnwood Transit Center.
  • Each alternative assumes a station that serves the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center area.
  • Each alternative assumes a station at NE 185th St. on the east side of I-5.
  • Potential station locations also include NE 130th St., NE 145th St., NE 155th St., and 220th St. SW.

What is no longer under consideration?
If you’ve been following the project, you may wonder what routes and stations were considered but removed from further consideration. After considering a number of additional stations and route alternatives, coordinating with cities and transit agencies in the project area, and talking with members of the public this past year, the following stations and routes have been removed from further consideration:
  • In Seattle: station at NE 125th St.
  • In Shoreline: station at NE 175th St.
  • In Shoreline: station on the west side of NE 185th St.
  • In Shoreline: routes that travel along the west side of I-5
  • Alignment: along SR 99 (Aurora Avenue)
  • Alignment: along 15th Avenue NE
  • Transit mode: bus rapid transit
Next steps
With route and station alternatives identified, the project team will begin the analysis in order to develop the draft EIS document. This environmental review complies with state and federal law.

The draft EIS will examine the potential environmental impacts and benefits of the project alternatives. Where adverse impacts are identified, the draft EIS will identify mitigation measures to avoid or minimize the impacts for each alternative. The draft EIS is anticipated to be published for public and agency review in mid-2013. You will have the opportunity to attend public meetings and provide formal comments on the draft EIS document. Stay tuned for more information as the project progresses.

Lynnwood Link Extension Project schedule

Field observations and testing begins
Over the next several months residents may notice project staff conducting field observation and testing in neighborhoods along the I-5 corridor for the project. All work will be completed during normal business hours within the public right-of-way and if access to private property is necessary, property owners will be contacted ahead of time. Vehicular access will be maintained at all times and traffic disruption is not anticipated. Field activities during this period include:
  • traffic observation and counts
  • natural resource and land use study
  • area photography
  • noise monitoring
This work is being completed as the project team begins preparing the draft EIS. Residents with questions about field observation and testing or the project are encouraged to contact Sound Transit and avoid approaching field staff with inquiries as they complete their work.

Opportunities to learn more
Thank you to those who stopped by one of the 10 drop-in sessions held in March 2012 from north Seattle to Lynnwood – we were able to speak with over 450 people and collect more than 200 comments about stations and routes. The team received a lot of valuable input, which helped the Board identify route and station alternatives for further consideration.

We will have project information booths at several events this summer to continue reaching out to nearby communities and share the latest details about the project. Stop by to learn more and ask questions.
  • Edmonds Summer Market – July 14
  • Shoreline Swing Summer’s Eve – July 18
  • Tour de Terrace – July 28 & 29
  • Celebrate Shoreline – August 18
  • Shoreline Farmer’s Market – August 25
  • Mountlake Terrace Farmer’s Market – September 7
  • Ethnic Elder Resource Fair – September 29
  • Community Information Tables in Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace (locations and dates to be determined)
Stay informed about the Lynnwood Link Extension project in a number of ways:
Set up a time to learn more!
We are always open to visiting a community or neighborhood group. Call or email Roger Iwata, Sound Transit Community Outreach, at 206-689-4904 or roger.iwata@soundtransit.org.


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