Sound Transit this week continues its community drop-in sessions aimed at giving residents a chance to get a look at potential light rail station and alignment locations between Northgate and Lynnwood.
The new light rail line that Sound Transit is preparing to build along the Interstate 5 corridor is part of the Sound Transit 2 extensions to the north, east and south approved by voters in 2008. Starting March 13, the informal lunchtime and evening gatherings offer a chance for residents to talk with staff and help inform the process of developing an Environmental Impact Statement.
During 2011, more than 1,500 community members provided input on the alignment and technology for serving communities between Northgate and Lynnwood with high-capacity transit. In December, the Sound Transit Board narrowed the options to a light rail alignment along the I-5 corridor. Sound Transit is now examining route and station alternatives as it prepares a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which is required before the project can evolve from the planning phase to engineering and construction.
This next round of analysis and public outreach will examine the benefits and impacts of the alternatives to help determine the best location for stations and tracks. Criteria such as station accessibility and property impacts will be used to ensure the most important questions are asked and answered, Sound Transit said in a news release.
The last two community “drop-in” opportunities are in Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood:
Tuesday, March 20, 11 a.m. -2 p.m.
Mountlake Terrace Library
23300 58th Ave. W.
Thursday, March 22, 4-6:30 p.m.
Mountlake Terrace Recreation Pavilion
5303 228th St. S.W.
Monday, March 19, 4-6:30 p.m.
Lynnwood Recreation Center
18900 44th Ave. W.
Wednesday, March 21, 4-6:30 p.m.
19200 44th Ave. W.
Recent analysis estimates the North Corridor light rail line will carry 52,000 riders a day by 2030 and take about 14 minutes to travel between Lynnwood and Northgate; it will feature four stations with trains running every four minutes during rush hour.
Construction on the project is scheduled to open for service in late 2023. The project is estimated to cost between $1.4 billion and $1.6 billion. Sound Transit said it believes the project will be very competitive for federal funding because of its high ridership potential through one of the most congested corridors in the country.
By 2023 the line will connect with the light rail station at Northgate and travel south through the University of Washington to downtown Seattle where riders can continue on to Sea-Tac International Airport / S. 200th St. – or ride east across Lake Washington to Mercer Island, Bellevue and the Overlake/Microsoft campus area.