MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Sound Transit sets April opening date for 8 new Eastside stations

Feb 16, 2024, 2:00 PM | Updated: Mar 29, 2024, 1:50 pm

Sound Transit live wire testing for East Link -- 2 Line BelRed...

Sound Transit expanding service for Fourth of July. (Photo courtesy of Sound Transit)

(Photo courtesy of Sound Transit)

Sound Transit announced Thursday the initial segment of the Link 2 Line will open to passenger service on Saturday, April 27.

The 6.5-mile segment of the East Link Extension includes eight new stations in Bellevue and Redmond, according to a news release. This initial segment will end at the South Bellevue Station at the west end, and the Redmond Technology Station on the east. Trains with two cars will run every 10 minutes for 16 hours per day. The announcement on the agency’s website page about the Link 2 Line states the train will run from 5:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

The stops, according to the Sound Transit website and the press statement will be South Bellevue, East Main, Bellevue Downtown, Wilburton, Spring District, BelRed, Overlake Village and it will wrap up with Redmond Technology. The train will cross Interstate 405 between the Bellevue Downtown and Wilburton stops.

Other transit news: Sound Transit apologizes after 4-hour Seattle tunnel shutdown

Parking will be available at South Bellevue, BelRed and Redmond Technology stations, the news release explains. Several stations are accessible from the Eastrail corridor and the regional trail network. Secure bike parking also is available at every station.

“With the opening of the 2 Line on the Eastside this spring, and our major expansion into Snohomish County this fall, we’re bringing the convenience of light rail to hundreds of thousands more people across the region,” King County Executive and Sound Transit Board Chair Dow Constantine said in the press statement. “That means more people will be able to use Link light rail to skip the traffic and parking hassles and get to school, work, games, concerts and more, inexpensively and on time, every time.”

Redmond Mayor and Sound Transit Board Member Angela Birney expressed excitement about the opening and said she was thankful for the support the project has received over the years to get here.

Other Sound Transit news: Chinatown-International District station re-opened after demonstration

“Light rail’s arrival to Redmond is monumental, as our region is undergoing rapid transformation,” Birney said in the release. “We are grateful for our federal, state and local partners who have been with us for decades to get to this point, as well as to our voters who made this path a reality. I look forward to seeing our community celebrate on opening day and take a ride on this easy, traffic-free connection between Redmond and Bellevue.”

In its announcement Thursday, Sound Transit stated the full 2 Line is expected to open in 2025. Completion of the Interstate 90 (I-90) segment of East Link was delayed by quality issues, which are being corrected. When it’s done, the I-90 segment will add the Mercer Island and Judkins Park stations to the 2 Line and connect to the 1 Line at the International District/Chinatown Station in downtown Seattle.

The Downtown Redmond Link Extension is also scheduled to open in 2025 with the Marymoor Village and Downtown Redmond stations completing the 2 Line, Sound Transit said.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the 2 Line opening at Bellevue Downtown Station,” said Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson said, according to Sound Transit. “Bellevue’s partnership with Sound Transit has been guided by a shared vision to improve mobility and access for everyone who lives, works and plays in Bellevue and the region. This opening brings us even closer to a future with a multitude of effective transportation options to get where you need to go on the Eastside and beyond.”

As The Seattle Times noted, travelers have been waiting for Eastside trains since the ST2 ballot measure of 2008, when voters passed a sales-tax boost to fully fund the $3.7 billion, 14-mile corridor from Redmond Technology Station into Seattle.

“The 2 Line is the product of the sustained commitment of project partners and community members, and years of hard work by Sound Transit staff and contractors,” Sound Transit Interim CEO Goran Sparrman said in the agency’s press statement.

Steve Coogan is the lead editor of MyNorthwest. You can read more of his stories here. Follow Steve on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email him here.

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