Two years from completion, Lynnwood Link construction reaches halfway point

Nov 24, 2021, 5:00 PM | Updated: Nov 26, 2021, 6:19 am
Lynnwood Link...
(Photo courtesy of Sound Transit via Flickr)
(Photo courtesy of Sound Transit via Flickr)

More than doubling the Puget Sound region’s light rail infrastructure, Sound Transit reports that it is set to meet its scheduled 2024 opening date for the Link extension into Lynnwood.

Finished or nearly complete aspects of the monumental construction project include all 188 columns, the majority of the framework’s 533 girders, and 10 bridges.

“The remarkable progress we’re making is visible daily for anyone driving along I-5,” wrote Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff in a news release. “Considering that most of the work to date has been done during the pandemic, this milestone is a testament to the commitment of the project’s workforce.”

The project benefits from an abundance of federal funding — $1.17 billion of the total $3.1 billion project cost has been sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration under a Full Funding Grant Agreement with Sound Transit. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau has also put up $658 million in low interest loans.

Sound Transit reports that the federal support has saved the regional taxpayers an estimated $200-300 million through low interest loans. DOT refinanced the loan in 2021 to take advantage of lower federal interest rates, saving a subsequent $150-250 million.

“Snohomish County has been leading the way to ensure our residents get light rail as quickly as possible while staying within the budget,” said Dave Somers, Sound Transit board member and Snohomish County executive. “As Link Light Rail stretches north toward Everett, it will serve even more residents and provide more commuting options.”

Northgate light rail station opens as Sound Transit forges ahead on expansion

The transit agency is also set to open a supplemental parking garage at Lynnwood Transit Center by spring 2023. The garage will contain capacity for 1,679 vehicles in a five-story structure.

Upon completion in 2024, Lynnwood commuters will be able to reach the University of Washington in Seattle in 20 minutes, downtown Seattle in 27 minutes, and Sea-Tac Airport in an hour. Trains from Lynnwood to downtown Bellevue will reach their destination in an estimated 51 minutes.

The East Link’s 14 miles of track along the I-90 bridge will connect Seattle through Bellevue into Redmond by 2023. Sound Transit recently finished construction on its parking garage at the future East Link South Bellevue Station.

“In just two years, riders will be able to avoid some of the worst highway congestion in the nation and enjoy reliable trips to their destination,” said Paul Roberts, Sound Transit vice chair and Everett City Council member. “Because Sound Transit is at the national forefront of operating carbon-free transit, riding Lynnwood Link will be the environmentally friendly way to get around the region.”

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Two years from completion, Lynnwood Link construction reaches halfway point