CHOKEPOINTS

Light rail disruptions coming every weekend in April

Mar 16, 2021, 5:06 AM
light rail, sound transit...
Ballasted track installed east of the Mercer Island station. (Sound Transit/Flickr)
(Sound Transit/Flickr)

Sound Transit is about to tie in the power and signal systems for the light rail expansion to the Eastside, but to do it, the agency needs to shut down service through downtown Seattle.

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April is going to be a very busy month for Sound Transit contractors working on the East Link extension. They will be connecting the new line to Bellevue to the existing system.

“During this work, Link will need to stop running between Sodo and Capitol Hill for five consecutive weekends, beginning the weekend of April 2nd through 4th,” Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff told the agency’s board last month.

There will be weekend service disruptions every weekend in April through downtown Seattle. Light rail will run between Angle Lake and Sodo, but riders will need to catch a shuttle bus to continue their trips. If you’re starting in the University District, you will catch a shuttle bus to Sodo.

“This is one of those necessary closures, necessary for us to tie in our new extensions with our existing spine,” Rogoff said.

The light rail line will shutdown at 10 p.m. on Fridays and reopen at 4 a.m. on Mondays.

Contractors will also be working in the Pioneer Square station, removing the temporary platform between the tracks.

“We’re taking advantage of this closure to remove the temporary center platform at Pioneer Square,” Rogoff said.

That center platform was installed during previous construction work. Passengers had to cross over the tracks and switch trains to continue their trips, but that’s no longer necessary.

“This really is a major milestone,” Rogoff said. “You can really start seeing how these extensions go from just a lot of concrete to the potential to real service.”

Light rail to Bellevue is still on schedule to open in 2023, with service expanding to Redmond a year later. The light rail to Northgate is on schedule to open later this year.

Sound Transit estimates soar and trains start running to Northgate

These upcoming weekend closures could alter your plans for attending Mariners’ games. The Mariners are home for three of the five weekends in April when service will be shut down.

Check out more of Chris’ Chokepoints.

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Light rail disruptions coming every weekend in April