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Sound Transit celebrating Bellevue light rail tunnel milestone

Western Washington hasn’t seen something like this since, well, last year. That’s when Bertha finally emerged after boring a tunnel in downtown Seattle. Now, Sound Transit is celebrating the excavation of its tunnel in Bellevue.

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Crews completed the excavation of a new 2,000-foot tunnel below the heart of downtown Bellevue on Friday. Unlike Seattle’s tunnel, the Eastside tunnel was built without a boring machine. Crews slowly removed portions of soil, bit-by-bit, to create the passageway. Concrete and steel was put into place to create the walls.

The passage has been cleared and now work will continue to construct a light rail line inside.

The Bellevue tunnel is part of the $3.7 billion East Link light rail project. The line will run 14 miles between Seattle and Redmond, passing through Bellevue. To make that route, the line will pass over I-90 and through the new tunnel. It will include 10 stations and is slated to open in 2023. Sound Transit says the ride from Seattle to Bellevue will take only 20 minutes.

The south end is at 112th Avenue NE and Main Street. The north portal is located next to Bellevue City Hall at 110th Avenue NE at 6th Street.

City dignitaries and Sound Transit officials took a tour of the tunnel Friday afternoon.

Sound Transit East link light rail animation:

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