As of right now, the latest plans for ST3 light rail expansion call for a drawbridge that connects Ballard and Interbay. On the other side of North Seattle, 30,000 passengers travel via tunnel on a light rail train from University District to Capitol Hill. So some in Ballard are wondering why plans are calling for a bridge when a tunnel seems to make just as much sense on their side?
A coalition of residents and some politicians have been pushing for a light-rail tunnel under Salmon Bay — at a cost of $450 million — and may continue to do so, even though the Sound Transit 3 ballot measure this fall is expected to instead offer a less-expensive drawbridge.
But transit-board Chairman Dow Constantine is leaving the tunnel as a possibility to be explored after the election.
Long story short, the bridge option might be what's currently preferred but it's not legally binding. But in terms of what's financially set aside, only a bridge works for right now. It also could open the floodgates around the region. If Ballard gets a tunnel, then West Seattle should get a tunnel. Tunnels for everyone!
· Ballard pushing for light-rail tunnel — even though drawbridge appears headed for ballot [ST]
· Sound Transit Light Rail Stations Could Be Built Sooner Under Revised Plan [CS]