by TIM BOND
Thursday night Sound Transit held an open house on the progress of the 1.6 mile South 200th Link extension. Construction of the guideway is approximately 40% complete to date. 50 of the 70 columns that support the elevated guideway have been erected thus far. Construction of the columns should be complete in about two months. Construction of the 1,166 pre-cast concrete segments, which takes place in Enumclaw, is 42% complete. The typical span between columns is comprised of 13 segments.
The most notable part of the presentation was the design of the 1,050 stall parking garage. Harbor Pacific / Graham won the design/build contract earlier this year. The garage will have five stories above ground and one below. The garage is sited immediately west of the station and will be C-shaped to fit around the existing PSE substation. There will be four vehicular entrances to the garage spread among each of the three streets that border the garage. A triangle-shaped piece of land to the west of the garage is being reserved for future TOD and has the potential to house 35,000 square feet of space.
The garage was designed with the “environment in motion” theme and will not be a “big plain concrete box”. Lengths of tubular steel will be placed around the perimeter of the garage and plaza to give it a flowing design. The station’s ground level plaza could be used for farmers markets and has provisions for food trucks. The ground floor of the garage will have retail space that will open up to the plaza. 10 spaces will be reserved in the garage for patrons of the retail business.
There will not be a specifically designed bus transfer facility but rather a pair of bus pullouts on each side of S 200th Street. No provisions are being made for bus layovers. A pair of sidewalks and five foot wide bicycle lanes will be installed on South 200th Street connecting to the Des Moines Creek trail 1/3 mile downhill.
Angle Lake station still scheduled to open around September 2016, which was the scheduled opening for U-Link (now pushed up to Q1 2016). There are five months of float in the systems testing phase, so it’s still possible that both extensions could open simultaneously at the end of Q1 2016.