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Lynnwood light rail trees
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5,300 trees will be cleared to make room for Lynnwood light rail

A Sound Transit project slated to kick off in late-April will clear out upwards of 5,300 trees between Northgate and Lynnwood to make room for light rail construction.

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The project is part of the Lynnwood Link light rail extension, spanning an 8.5 mile stretch adjacent to I-5. Eventually, this will expand light rail into Snohomish County across four stations in Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, and Lynnwood.

A large chunk of the trees being removed to install train tracks will be in Mountlake Terrace, with estimates pegging the total to be just over 2,300. A Seattle Times report notes that many of those trees are Douglas firs that have remained untouched since that corridor of I-5 was built in the 1960s.

Sound Transit plans to plant roughly four times as many trees as it removes, including 7,500 in Mountlake Terrace, and over 20,000 total trees in the 8.5-mile stretch of construction. The new trees will stand around three feet tall.

Sound Transit and WSDOT are also contracted to maintain the newly-planted trees over the course of a 13-year period, a full decade longer than the three-year window that’s generally allotted.

Open houses on the project will be hosted by Sound Transit at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 18 at Nile Shrine Golf Center, and at the same time on April 25 at the Lynnwood Convention Center.

Last November, the Lynnwood Link extension project got $1.2 billion in federal money. It is estimated to start service in 2024.

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