Big week for fans of light rail in the Puget Sound area. The biggest news was the approval of a plan to build a $2.8 billion East Link light rail extension from Seattle to Bellevue and Redmond.
The 14-mile East Link will run between the Chinatown/International Station in Seattle to the Overlake Transit Center in Redmond. The line, which will cross Lake Washington on Interstate 90, is scheduled to open in 2023, and is projected to carry more than 50,000 riders a day in 2030. Riding East Link between Seattle and downtown Bellevue is projected to take less than 20 minutes. Sound Transit plans construction to start in 2015 and the entire project could end up creating 60,000 jobs.
With new options to travel East, Seattlites will also see their options of where they can travel south opening up with news that Sound Transit is moving up its plans to expand light rail south from Sea-Tac Airport. The 1.6 mile extension will go from the airport to 200th Street in SeaTac and is expected to open in 2016.
Its not hard to imagine that, one day in the future, these lines will intersect through Renton. But...baby steps first.
· Sound Transit, Bellevue come to terms on $2.8B light-rail project [PSBJ]
· Link Light Rail begins southern expansion towards Federal Way [MyNorthwest]