Sound Transit on Tuesday briefed media on the construction of the first elevated section of the East Link extension. The girders spanning 112th Avenue Northeast will support guideway for trains traveling between Bellevue and Redmond.
Monday night crews placed two 117-foot pre-cast girders, the first of a series that will form the base of the aerial guideway. When these girders are set they will support a cast-in-place concrete deck under the light rail tracks and power system. Time-lapse video of the girder placement process can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/247054332.
Crews are currently working near the site of the future Bellevue Downtown station, adjacent to Bellevue City Hall on Sixth Street. This street-level station will have entrances located on 110th Avenue Northeast and 112th Avenue Northeast. Track east of the station will be elevated to cross I-405, continuing through the hospital district to the future Wilburton station, and into Bel-Red, where it will return to street level. Animations of the future East Link alignment can be viewed at https://www.soundtransit.org/Projects-and-Plans/East-Link-Extension/East-Link-Extension-document-archive/East-Link-Documents/Videos-2014-animations.
East Link will extend light rail 14 miles from downtown Seattle to downtown Bellevue and the Overlake area of Redmond via Interstate 90, with 10 stations. Construction began on all segments of the East Link alignment in June 2017, and significant progress has been made in the last six months of this year. Accomplishments include:
Preliminary work for post-tensioning of the I-90 floating bridge is underway.
Significant progress has been made on the parking garage at the future South Bellevue station.
Excavation of the tunnel beneath downtown Bellevue has passed the half-way mark, and work at the north portal site has begun.
Drilled shafts for elevated guideway are in progress across the alignment.
East Link is expected to be operational in 2023. The following year Sound Transit will open a 3.6-mile extension further east to new stations in Southeast Redmond and downtown Redmond under funding approved in November 2016.
The Northgate Link light rail extension that is currently under construction will reach Seattle’s University District, Roosevelt and Northgate areas in 2021. Additional Link extensions that are nearing construction will reach north to Lynnwood and south to Federal Way in 2024. Later extensions to form a 116-mile regional system will reach Everett, Tacoma, West Seattle, Ballard, South Kirkland and Issaquah. By 2040 Sound Transit projects Link trains will carry between 480,000 to 590,000 riders each weekday.
For more information on the East Link Extension, see www.soundtransit.org/Eastlink.