Kittitas County judge rules against Kemper Freeman light rail case

A Kittitas County Superior Court Judge issued a summary judgment in the lawsuit by Kemper Freeman seeking to stop the East Link light rail project.

  • Friday, March 9, 2012 8:04pm
  • News

A Kittitas County Superior Court Judge issued a summary judgment in the lawsuit by Kemper Freeman seeking to stop the East Link light rail project.

 

The ruling confirms the legality of the work now underway to extend light rail across the I-90 center lanes to serve to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond.

 

With Sound Transit funding, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is nearing completion of the second of three phases to prepare for light rail construction by adding new HOV lanes, ramps, and safety improvements across Lake Washington on I-90. Before the reversible center lanes are closed for light rail, these new lanes will provide 24-hour capacity for carpools and buses both eastbound and westbound, maintaining the current number of general purpose and HOV lanes and remedying the current lack of HOV capacity in the off-peak direction.

 

The court held that WSDOT had the authority to lease the I-90 center lanes to Sound Transit for light rail, rejecting the argument that the lease violates the 18th Amendment of the Washington State Constitution because Sound Transit is paying adequate compensation for the lanes.

 

The court affirmed that the East Link light rail project, approved by voters in 2008, is consistent with plans and agreements that have been in place since before the bridge was built. The ruling cites the 1978 federal action approving construction of the I-90 floating bridge, which contained an express condition that “public transportation shall permanently have first priority in the use of the center lanes.”

 

In 1976, a memorandum of agreement for I-90 was signed by the cities of Seattle, Bellevue and Mercer Island, King County Metro Transit and the State Highway Commission. It directed that bridge design and construction accommodate future conversion to rail and committed the two-lane center roadway for that purpose.

 

Freeman filed the lawsuit in Kittitas County following a Washington State Supreme Court ruling against him in 2011.

More in News

Malena Gaces, left, and other members of Washington CAN protest unfair move-out charges and alleged discriminatory behavior outside Kitts Corner Apartments in Federal Way in 2018. Sound Publishing file photo
King County could increase tenant protections

The council is considering ordinances designed to help renters.

124th Avenue Northeast is one of many Bellevue locations affected by construction. Blake Peterson/staff photo
‘It’s really helping us build some firsts in Bellevue’: Checking in on transportation projects in the city

The council received an update on transportation projects at a recent study session.

The 2015 Wolverine Fire in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest near Lake Chelan. Photo courtesy of the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
The smoky summer that wasn’t

While Washington had a mild season, wildfires burned near the Arctic.

Dane Scarimbolo and Dominique Torgerson run Four Horsemen Brewery in Kent. They were almost shut down in late 2017 by King County, which after years of letting them operate a brewery and taproom, decided they were in violation of county code. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Proposed winery ordinance irks King County farmers, neighbors and businesses

Concerns include more traffic, higher land prices, code enforcement and compliance.

Balducci runs against Hirt for District 6 county council seat

The former Bellevue mayor is essentially running unopposed.

Pos. 7 city council candidates discuss Bellevue’s character, housing options

Jennifer Robertson and James Bible responded to questions posed by the Reporter.

Zahn and Yu seeking pos. 5 on the city council

Zahn is the incumbemt; Yu is a principal engineer system architect

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Kim Schrier held a roundtable at the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank on Oct. 3 to talk about the Trump administration’s plan to further change SNAP food benefits rules and reduce the number of people using them. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Murray, Schrier vow to fight White House restrictions on food stamps

Senator and Representative met Oct. 3 at Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank.

Most Read