Sound Transit today re-opened the Northbound I-5 Olive Way exit ramp marking the completion of major work on one of the first contracts as part of the University Link Light Rail extension. The exit was closed for a year-long project to prepare I-5 for the twin tunnels that will be bored underneath connecting University Link into the existing system.

Sound Transit reports the project was completed on-time and under budget despite earlier reports of being behind schedule, and considers this a great milestone for U-Link.

17 Replies to “I-5 Undercrossing Wraps Up”

  1. I think they were expecting early on to be finished early, but in the end they finished on schedule and under budget.

    Good job ST. Under budget is a good thing!

    Bring on the TBM’s.

  2. More videos like this please. Congratulations to Sound Transit, we need to be very supportive of community investments like this one, they make us all wealthier .

  3. I was wondering a while ago, will U Link tunnels be lit like the DSTT, or dark like a lot of systems around the world?

    1. The tunnels always have lights it’s just a matter of whether you want to pay to power them all the time.

  4. I’m certain current safety and escape requirements require lighting in all newly built transit tunnels

      1. ST spokesperson Bruce Gray said last month that “we’ve moved up the bumping post in the stub tunnel since we opened last July to make room for the coming U-Link work. Now we can only turn a two-car train around in there.”

        I don’t think they have enough cars to regularly run 3-car trains.

      2. They’re getting a lot of cars next year though right? That’d be cool to at least run three-car trains from Stadium Station after sports events around there.

  5. I don’t understand the logic for a tunnel versus elevated.

    LINK has three modes: elevated, surface and tunnel.

    They use the existing downtown tunnel…which makes sense there, but every else it seems to be the elevated would be the perfect combination of having a free right of way along with being cheap and easy to build.

    Not only that, but I would imagine that an elevated line could be put up almost instantly whereas a tunnel takes forever to build.

    Can someone school me in the (il)logic of tunnels?

    1. Tunnels require little maintenance after they’re built. They’re essentially negative space inside solid rock. Elevated structures have to be constantly maintained. See NYC’s subway tunnels versus Chicago’s “L” system. Virtually no work has needed to be done to NYC’s tunnels in their 80-90 year history, whereas Chicago is constantly replacing segments of it’s elevated lines.

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