Change is quickly coming to Bellevue as Sound Transit ramps up construction on the East Link Extension. Most recently crews on Monday night began work on the first elevated section of the 14-mile light rail extension, placing two girders that span 112th Avenue Northwest near the future Bellevue Downtown Station.
These 117-foot precast girders are the first in series that will form the base of the aerial guideway to support a concrete deck under the light rail tracks and power system. A timelapse video of the girder placement process was created by Sound Transit.
Light rail Trains traveling from Seattle will enter the Bellevue Downtown Station through the downtown transit tunnel. Leaving the street-level station, located at Sixth Street with entrances on 110th Avenue Northeast and 112th Avenue Northeast, the track is elevated to cross Interstate 405.
The track will remain elevated through the hospital district to the future Wilburton Station northeast of downtown. Two stations to the east, at the future Bel-Red Station, located between 130th and 132nd Avenues NE at NE Spring Boulevard, the track will return to street level.
Sound Transit began construction on the East Link Extension in June 2017.
In that time crews excavating the future transit tunnel in downtown Bellevue passed the halfway mark. The 2,000-foot tunnel will connect the future East Main and Downtown Bellevue stations under 110th Ave. And along Interstate 90, a Sound Transit contractor began preparing the floating bridge for upcoming seismic work.
The future site of the Bellevue Downtown Light Rail site was recently an empty lot adjacent to city hall.
The 10 station East Link Extension stations, scheduled to open in 2023, expands light rail from downtown Seattle to downtown Bellevue and on to the Overlake area of Redmond.