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Sound Transit starts construction on Northgate light rail

After months of low activity at Northgate, Sound Transit showed up last week with an army of workers and heavy equipment to begin work on the new light rail station near the current transit center.

Transit center and park-and-ride users, and mall-goers need to prepare for a shifting parking lot and road closures over the next few years.

“It’s a lot to juggle,” said Sound Transit’s Kimberly Reason. “We are very committed to keeping the parking there so we’re having to move the parking around and keep construction going.”

Related: Sound Transit CEO says voters have forgiven them for past troubles

The Northgate light rail station is more than a little unique. It is going to be built on either side of NE 103rd Street — that’s the street just south of the mall parking garage. Sound Transit is doing that so vehicles can still get in and out of the transit center. The station will be elevated. Trains will come out of the Maple Leaf tunnel and then move to an elevated track before entering the station.

“We’re still on track to open in 2021,” Reason said. “Construction is going really well, and people will see that area changing rapidly as the station construction takes shape.”

The Northgate light rail station

The Northgate light rail extension was funded under Sound Transit 2, and it will get light rail to Lynnwood by 2023. The track will head out of the Northgate station along Fifth Avenue, hugging the east side of I-5 all the way to 185th in Shoreline. The tracks will stay along I-5 until it reaches the transit center just over the King/Snohomish County line. It will then cross I-5 in Mountlake Terrace before making it to the Lynnwood Transit Center at 200th.

This line will be a mix of elevated and ground-level track. There are no tunnels on this stretch of the project.

 

About the Author

Chris Sullivan

Chris Sullivan is a traffic reporter for KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He cares deeply about the amount of time you spend sitting in Seattle traffic. Email Chris at csullivan@kiroradio.com

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