Mountlake Terrace Transit Center, one of the stops on Lynnwood Link

On Thursday, the Sound Transit Board approved the baseline budget (in other words, the budget for when we can say a project is truly under/over budget) for Lynnwood Link, which has been under its own financial problems for a few months, and set it at $2.77 billion. As we covered earlier this month, a few of the cost-saving measures have been incorporated into the plan, reducing the $500 million shortfall to $200 million.

While Lynnwood Link is still under final design, with station and garage work not planned to be finalized until December of this year, the board action was moved up in anticipation of the FTA’s expected approval of the project’s full funding grant agreement (FFGA) this summer. The budget assumes that the FTA will award the full $1.17 billion requested by Sound Transit in its New Starts application, which would use up a significant portion of the $2.6 billion in capital investments allocated to the FTA for fiscal year 2019 by the House Appropriations Committee (and to move onto Congress) this week.

By an odd quirk in the federal funding process, Lynnwood Link’s FFGA application also includes a 41 percent share of costs for the satellite operations and maintenance facility currently under construction in Bellevue for East Link and costs for the 34 light rail vehicles needed to run part of Lynnwood Link, bringing the total “budget” up to $3.26 billion. This has been misreported by other outlets as a massive inflation of the project’s original $2.4 billion budget and has certain pundits frothing at the mouth, but the figures are not part of the baseline budget for Lynnwood Link and should not affect its chances of being awarded the FFGA.

Beyond the major change at Shoreline North/NE 185th Street Station discussed in our previous article, the cost-saving measures also include narrower platforms, removal of the down escalators at stations (to be replaced by the already-planned stairs), and changes to the concrete used in guideways and sound walls. Further refinement of the cost-saving measures is expected to be evaluated by the Sound Transit Board in July, after a series of public open houses that may present the last opportunity for the public to air their grievances over the long-term effects of these decisions.

The board action also set the project’s baseline schedule, with early demolition of the former Black Angus and McDonalds furniture store in Lynnwood set to begin next month. Sound Transit will submit its land use permit applications to the cities of Seattle, Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, and Lynnwood in late summer and award the project’s major two-part civil construction contract (split down the county line) in November, although the contracts could be let out for bidding earlier under the assumption that construction costs would climb a significant amount during a few months of waiting. Sound Transit’s proposal to nail down a winning bidder before the FFGA is officially awarded could carry some risk, especially under the currently volatile federal government, but could keep costs from rising any further.

Construction is set to finally begin in January 2019 and last just over five years, and revenue service is expected to begin sometime around July 2024. The schedule has 8 months of built-in float time, which could help bring up the opening day closer to the traditional March service change date that Community Transit could use to unveil its revamped commuter bus network.

With planning on Lynnwood Link finally nearing an end, a renewed push to wrap up Federal Way Link’s budget and FFGA should be coming soon. The FTA reports that Federal Way’s $499 million FFGA is still on track for an early 2019 signing, which could mesh well with the scheduled award of a design-build contract midway through next year.

61 Replies to “Sound Transit Sets Lynnwood Link Baseline Schedule and Budget”

  1. I was riding the 512 the other day out of downtown, and I couldn’t help noticing that it takes a long time for passengers to pay the fare, even though most of them have Orca cards. In fact, the 512 actually takes longer to get from 4th and Pine to the I-5/Olive Way entrance ramp than it takes Link to get from Westlake Station all the way to UW station.

    Eventually, Link extending out to Lynnwood will make this problem go away, but it would be great if Sound Transit could somehow switch the route to RapidRide-style all-door boarding in the meantime.

    1. Given the small number of stops, it would be a great choice for a proof of payment system. An enforcer could get on downtown, and then check everyone before 45th (or check them between 45th and 145th). At worse you have folks who get a free ride downtown, but I don’t think that matters.

      If ST didn’t want to do that, they could do what Metro does for various buses (I noticed this on the 41). Just put an official there, next to the bus stop, using a hand reader to take ORCA cards, That official then allows those riders to get onto the back of the bus. That is a pretty simple system that works really well to cut down the boarding time at the busiest stops. It looks like Jackson is the busiest stop, with Pike a close second. A couple other downtown stops are pretty busy, but only about half of that. Of course, in the case of the 41, the work is done inside the tunnel, instead of on a busy city street. I have no idea how easy that would be on the bus stops the 512 uses.

      1. The unfortunate disadvantage of the Doible Tall’s is that they prohibit movement in the upper deck. So fare enforcement will not be allowed to check for fares while the bus is moving.

      2. Good idea about the loaders, Ross. They seem to work at the DSTT stations. Which, however, would work a lot better if we’d put these fare-collectors at the top of the stairs. ‘Til we can buy the gates. At rush hour, I don’t think fare inspection on plaforms is even possible.

        Toronto used to declare area around most stops “Proof of Payment”. Though starting to understand why Estonia went fare-free. Cost of a minute’s lost operating time seems to be either classified or eaten by somebody’s dog.

        But sooner or later meaning five years ago, fare-collection delays will cost more than just letting people ride. Nobody’s getting anything free. Transit will be money ahead by losing fare delays. And passengers will still be paying taxes.

        Also, monthly passes will become popular enough to assure that passengers do create some fare revenue. To sum up, whatever culture first said “When the fence starts eating the crops all is lost” had transit revenue handling in its DNA forever. Maybe India.

        Mark

      3. “They should allow people to move on the upper deck while the bus is in motion”

        The upper deck is not high enough for a person 5’10” to stand up in, so I imagine walking bent over is less safe, expecially since people aren’t used to it. It was so inconvenient to walk to and down the narrow stairs that I doubt I’ll go to the upper deck ever again.

        I don’t know how they can strictly enforce the “no walking while moving rule”, because you have to get down to the door before the bus stops or you’ll miss your stop. Unless they hold the bus for five minutes at every stop for people to come down, which they didn’t seem to do.

      4. The upper deck only has 5′ 8″ of space until you hit the ceiling, and quite a few riders bump their heads even when the bus isn’t in motion.

        I don’t think it’s necessary to use POP for Route 512 (and you’d have to extend it over to the 510/511/513 in order to avoid confusion) because the load times just aren’t high on the list of possible improvements. I think most riders would want better frequency and some on-street priority more than a few fare collectors.

      5. Higher frequency for the 512 would be great, but a proof of payment system is cheaper. The fare collectors don’t even have to ride the bus all the way to Everett, just within downtown.

        Of course, the reality is that the ST board wants to put as little money into the 512 as they can get away with, in order for the eventual improvement that comes when Link replaces it to feel as big as possible. Especially since the 512 is an off-peak route, and the board seems mostly interested in peak-direction rush hour commuters.

      6. Of course, the reality is that the ST board wants to put as little money into the 512 as they can get away with, in order for the eventual improvement that comes when Link replaces it to feel as big as possible. Especially since the 512 is an off-peak route, and the board seems mostly interested in peak-direction rush hour commuters.

        Wow, and I thought I was cynical. Seriously, though, you may be right. Or it may be that ST just doesn’t care that much. It is like Metro and ST with regards to joint operations.
        There are lots of things they could do (or could have done) to make it run very smoothly, saving everyone a lot of time. Same with the changes that the city could make when they kick out the buses. Or ST when it comes to escalators. In all these cases, you could save a lot of people a lot of time, but they figure eventually the problem will go away, so they don’t worry about.

        Oh, wait, I guess I am pretty cynical.

      7. @Mike Orr
        > Are London double-deckers also so short in the upper deck?

        Yes, if not shorter — I’m only 5’8 or so, and I have trouble standing up straight. Standing is generally not allowed upstairs, although my experience is that passengers do start making their way out before the bus stops.

    2. I was just thinking about this the other day! Customers on the 512 take too damned long to board! I always thought it was non-regular riders and families paying cash. I found it most true on the weekends.

    3. I saw a 512 yesterday at 2:15pm at Westlake Park. It was a double tall, and while I couldn’t fully see into it to check how full it was, it looked like it was pretty full.

      I took the 554 half an hour later because I missed the last Trailhead Direct from Mt Baker (the later ones start at Issaquah TC). What I noticed was the inordinate amount of time the 554 takes downtown, even on a Sunday with little traffic. Part of it is because instead of going straight down 2nd Avenue to 4th Avenue South, it turns left on Washington and right on 5th of some reason. And before that I was at REI and took a 545 from Eastlake to 5th, and that also took a surprisingly long time. There was some congestion on Stewart but not a lot.

      One of the reasons people are clamoring for Link is to avoid all these downtown slowdowns.

      1. “The inordinate amount of time the 554 takes downtown, even on a Sunday with little traffic.”

        I’ve noticed it too, and the unpredictable amount of time the bus takes to get through downtown ruins the reliability for the entire rest of the route, and has ripple effects by making connections impossible to time in Lynnwood, even if the freeway is empty. And, when the bus does hit traffic on the freeway, it just goes down from there.

        With Link, you will actually be able to calculate which specific train you need to take out of Westlake to a reliable, under-5-minute wait for a half-hourly or hourly bus in Lynnwood, which is completely unheard-of today. It’s amazing how much more useful the feeder buses become if you can have a dependable connection to them that doesn’t involve adding 20+ minutes of padding into your schedule, every single day.

      2. Asdf, this is exactly why on the one month anniversary of Link’s opening in Lynnwood, passengers at Roosevelt will be unable to board in the morning. Within weeks after that, with 70’s and Roosevelt RapidRides bulging, Metro will announce the emergency reinstatement of the Northeast Seattle peak hour express routes that were canceled two and a half years earlier when North Link opened.

        Reliable Link service will be revolutionary for Snohomish County, probably more so than any other sub-area due to its joined-at-the-hip employment relationship with Seattle.

      3. Mike, the 554 has to use 5th Avenue in order to serve the International District/Chinatown stop (which is fairly popular) and also continue onto the D2 Roadway from 5th & Airport Way. Once the I-90 service change takes effect in September, Route 554 will stay on 2nd Ave Ext (stopping just across Jackson from King Street Station’s plaza) and onto 4th before turning to Dearborn.

      4. One of the reasons I’m clamoring for Link is that OneBusAway doesn’t report any real-time data for the routes I take from downtown to Snohomish county. Buses get stuck in rush hour traffic and I’m never sure what is coming soon down Olive.

      5. Community Transit (and ST Express routes operated by CT and First Transit) use their own in-house arrivals system: MyBusFinder, The map component is buggy, but if you know your cross-streets it is faster than OneBusAway.

  2. Oh how ST hates down escalators. Keep a parking deck level; remove an escalator. Narrow the platform to never add an escalator back in a few years. Ignore telling the public until it can’t be reversed.

    1. Personally I wouldn’t object to ST taking an extra year if the objective is to get it done right. There is nothing to stop them from buying the land at today’s cost.

    2. It will be interesting to see how all Lynnwood commuters react to no down escalator. P&R commuters are usually privileged to not have to endure that kind of cost-cutting, which they would never tolerate in a shopping mall.

      Removing a level of parking would of course make the station less useful and reduce ridership, and reneg on ST’s promises to the community.

      1. I don’t think ST cares once a rider gets to a station. When a resident walks to a paid fare area, ST is convinced they have submitted to the kingdom of ST and must accept their subordinate status.

        Of course, merely deferring a parking level five years is called breaking a promise!

  3. Considering combined power of AARP, ADA, and the whole legal profession, my guess is that one-way escalators owe their existence to the awesome power of the funeral industry.

    At 73, I’m taking some meds that’ll help gravity turn me into a blood-soaked sack of bone meal with one loss of balance. What in the Old German word for cattle breeding do these people think they’re doing?

    Because I doubt I’m the only one who’s got it in their will to put get me a whole system full of platinum escalators for my monument.

    Mark Dublin

  4. This post is full of factual errors but, since I’ve posted repeatedly about the ACTUAL Lynnwood Link project cost escalation problem apparently to no avail (e.g., the cost “overrun” being closer to $760 million, per the FTA rating assignments, and not this $500 million that keeps getting erroneously reported), I’m not going to correct the record yet again.

    The ORIGINAL cost estimate for the base part of this project (not including the allocated costs for the OMF in Bellevue, the additional fleet and financing costs) from the ST2 proposal was $1.5-1.7 billion in YOE$.

    1. I agree with your point.

      I’d also note that FTA said that the contingency is still too small. No one is paying attention to the contingency shortfalls that plague all future ST projects. It’s just one more item on how Link remains a project to please elected officials and tangential interest groups, and the rider experience is given no priority consideration except for mandated ADA minimums.

  5. Thanks to Bruce to describe the down escalator removal! The ST links in the article don’t mention this at all. The staff is obviously hiding this action from public discussion — probably because it’s not important to them.

    I’d love to see an ST poll asking whether down escalators or 10-20 parking garage spaces are more important.

  6. Given how unreliable st elevators have been, I don’t see removal of the down elevators as a big tragedy. Presumably the distance is not that grewt in any case since the station is not underground.

    1. A week or so back, at University Street Station I found a woman well over seventy, very heavy and barely able to walk, halfway down a case of sharp granite stairs from mezzanine to platform.

      Considering number of surveillance cameras, if I’d been someplace else, settlements, legal fees, and fines might delay Lynnwood ’til the woolly elephants come back when the next Ice Age snuffs global warming.

      The staircases at Angle Lake are gravity-operated death traps. As you point out, our current elevators need to be litigated and replaced. What’s somebody unfamiliar with our emergency communication buttons going to do stranded up there in the cold at midnight with both elevators down? When contingencies like this put Sound Transit into receivership…who’s going to receive it?

      MD

    2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it also means only one escalator in the station. That means a single point of failure. Folks have talked about having the escalators reverse themselves periodically, to save on wear and tear. ST is reluctant to do that, but it wouldn’t shock me if they did that in the future. But that only makes sense when you have two escalators. Meanwhile, it means that if one fails, the other can still run. It doesn’t matter if the north one was going to be the up escalator today — if it needs repairing, then the south escalator is running uphill today.

      In other words, this will mean that there will be no escalator at all, more often. At least there will be stairs.

      1. Given ST’s idiotic escalator policy, that single point of failure may actually be a point of resilience. Since stairs never break down, it means that Lynnwood station will never have the UW station debacle, where everybody is forced to line up for hours for the elevator.

      2. Yeah, but as this article clearly points out, the stairs were going to be built anyway. It isn’t like they are replacing the down escalator with stairs. So basically, even if ST has a change of management, and does everything as well as possible (e. g. runs the remaining escalator in the uphill direction) this particular station is hosed. Eventually the one escalator will break down, and folks will have to walk up as well as down.

        But I agree that it is ridiculous to not have stairs. Basically the UW station failed on all counts. They didn’t install stairs, they haven’t run the escalators both directions (to save on maintenance) and then when the escalator broke down, they didn’t just turn it into a down staircase (with the other one being an up escalator).

      3. Folks, aren’t we getting a little over-wrought about this escalator removal at open-air stations? Unless they are to be towering palaces like TIBS, the climbing distance isn’t that great. People won’t be climbing from Third to Fifth on Marion. Should their absence be found to be deleterious, new ones projecting out perpendicular to the platforms can be added later. Only the width of an escalator bank would be required between the building supports.

        I’d be more worried about the narrowed platforms, which can never be remedied.

  7. So if the 1% reserved for art was removed, could that save the two way escalators, or not force us to go so cheap on the bus-rail integration? Of the $2.77 billion, that’s $27.7 million that could be used on real improvements. Not that I hate art, but a usable system is more important. Art seems like something that should be a contingency. It’s sad when station access and build quality is negotiable and subject to compromise but the artwork allocation isn’t.

    1. Does the art have to be installed when the line opens?

      One of the sculptures on the MAX green line got installed several years after the line opened. A coveted bike rack just got added to one of the Orange line stations.

    2. According to the design refinement sheet that we were sent a few months ago, the down escalator removal would save about $5.8 million (plus $11.2 million for narrower platforms).

      There’s already been quite a bit of money spent on planning the public art projects, so it wouldn’t make much sense to cancel them. The art program helps prevent stations from looking too same-y and boring, which helps public perception of transit.

      1. At $100K per space, that would be 170 parking garage spaces — 58 for the escalator and 112 for the narrower platform. Somehow that just doesn’t meet the logic test unless that’s to occur at every one of the four stations. If that’s the case, it’s the same cost as 42,5 spaces per station.

        So the question ST should ask the future riders is this: What’s more important: 42.5 spaces or another escalator?

      2. Still, the art could be put last as Glenn suggested. As far as I know the 1% for Art law applies only to the budget, not the timing. However, it may be impractical for an artist to paint a station wall or install large artwork while an unpredictable number of passengers are filling the station. And for things like stained-glass ceilings there would have to be a temporary ceiling, which would lose some of the cost savings.

  8. Any word from ST about Community Outreach for Lynnwood Station? They held an open house event 18 months ago, and since then, Nothing. Only silence. I remember when ST used to hold open houses for each phase of facility design, 30%, 60%, and 90% completion. What’s going on down there?

    1. All good questions. Roger Iwata is the community outreach person at ST that I have communicated with in the past, so he might be a good contact to start with. But I agree. Since the announcement last August about the budget woes for the Lynnwood Link project, ST has seemed not too inclined to want to hold any community outreach events for the surrounding area.

  9. A lot to say, but some of it I’ll save for the open houses.

    1) Thank you SounderBruce, Community Transit staff, Sound Transit staff, local politicians, and Enviroissues staff (for starters) for getting us this far. I am so excited about this.

    2) As to, “The schedule has 8 months of built-in float time, which could help bring up the opening day closer to the traditional March service change date that Community Transit could use to unveil its revamped commuter bus network.” I hope this happens. A lot of places need more Community Transit service – and more frequently; but the long commuter lines really are a significant portion of the Community Transit service hours.

    3) I don’t want to hear any more ridiculous demands for trees, streams or whatever. Just build this already.

  10. If I lived in the neighborhood of one of those stations, I would prefer wider platforms and more escalotors over parking. However, the local bus service would need to be as frequent as it is near me. And it would have to be a guarantee of service for some years, not just an empty promise. If the local service is not good then I understand why parking is needed. I am not familiar with all of the bus service in that area, but it sucks near many of my friend’s places. They won’t use Link if they can’t drive to it for that reason.

    1. Community Transit will have tons of hours for feeders when Link reaches Lynnwood.So that should serve all the transit-accessible areas. The problem is transit-inaccessible areas like cul-de-sacs; that’s where the P&R comes in.

  11. >>>, bringing the total “budget” up to $3.26 billion. This has been misreported by other outlets as a massive inflation of the project’s original $2.4 billion budget and has certain pundits frothing at the mouth, but the figures are not part of the baseline budget for Lynnwood Link and should not affect its chances of being awarded the FFGA.<<<

    Nope. There's been no misreporting from said "other outlets" from where I sit…..

    November 2015 FTA New Starts Rating Assignment:

    Proposed Project: Light Rail Transit 8.5 Miles, 4 Stations
    Total Capital Cost ($YOE): $2,345.93 Million (Includes $194.3 million in finance charges)
    Section 5309 New Starts Share ($YOE): $1,172.73 Million (50.0%)
    Annual Operating Cost (opening year 2023): $14.78 Million
    Current Year Ridership Forecast (2014): 50,500 Daily Linked Trips/15,143,100 Annual Linked Trips
    Horizon Year Ridership Forecast (2035): 67,100 Daily Linked Trips/20,138,100 Annual Linked Trips
    Overall Project Rating: Medium-High
    Project Justification Rating: Medium-High
    Local Financial Commitment Rating: Medium

    Thus, this project is now looking at a total project cost estimate increase of nearly $1 billion from what was reported just two and half years earlier. (making an apples to apples comparison utilizing the actual FTA figures). Frothing may indeed be warranted.

    1. Well, then, let’s not build it at all! Instead add some direct HOV-access ramps at Northgate so that CT buses can transfer there. Surely WSDOT would be willing to fund them as an HOV improvement. Then let Snohomish County “secede” from the Sound Transit District.

      Such an egregious assault on the Nation’s Fisc as this over-run cannot be allowed!

      Problem of cost overruns? Solved!

      Problem of ST3 tax rebellion in Snohomish County? Solved!

      Problem of poorly conceived Paine Field deviation? Solved!

      Problem of fostering sprawl in Snohomish County? Not exactly “solved”, but ameliorated.

      Problem of many-dollars-per-rider subsidy of Sounder North? Solved!

      What’s not to like except that Shoreline loses its stations? But North King County can probably pay for them itself over time without Federal aid though, so it’s not a deal-breaker.

      STOP THE TRAIN IN ITS TRACKS!!!!!

      Er, ah, “ON ITS TRACKS”?

      [Ed Note]. Is this good enough frothing? Do you think I might now be hired by the Seattle Crimes?

      1. Continuing

        Problem of anger at “Lexus Lanes” on I-405? Solved, because no I-405 BRT means no need for ETL.

        Problem of rebuilding NE 85th I-405 interchange under traffic? Solved because no I-405 BRT to serve “mid-level” stops.

        Is this the string which when pulled unravels the Gordian Knot of Puget Sound’s transportation woes?

        STOP THE THE TRAIN IN/ON/BEYOND ITS TRACKS!!!!

      2. Northgate station would have to be larger to fit the hundreds of express buses that would use it.

      3. Only a person with a car would say that canceling 405 BRT is better than building it. Are you blind to the difficulty of traveling when ST Express runs every 30-60 minutes, not at all Sundays, and a trip from Bellevue to Kirkland on local buses takes half an hour and Bellevue to Juanita takes an hour? 405 BRT, for all its faults, will improve all-day frequency and inline stations and make transit a more viable option in the Eastside. If you cancel it, you need to articulate what you’d replace it with that would be more effective. I don’t see how anything equally effective could cost significantly less. Even if 405 BRT isn’t the long-term solution hopefully some of its infrastructure can be reused for whatever comes later.

    2. Tlsgwm, Bruce is saying that the original budget 2.4B did not include OMF and LRV costs. if you compare the original budget and scope to the new budget with the same scope the difference between 2.4B and 2.77B is 300ish M.

      when you add omf and lrv costs, which were not part of the baseline scope when st2 passed, then you get to 3+B.

      no need to set anything straight. just gotta be able to acknowledge changes to both cost performance and scope growth due to regulations and laws

  12. To Save more money, all plazas and parks should be deleted from the plans. Voters want trains, tracks and stations only. No FRILLS!!!!!

    1. That gets into legal issues and environmental mitigation. You can’t just build a plain concrete box like you could in the 1940s.

  13. The revised NE 185th Street design shifted the garage to the east so that its traffic can better clog bus service, including Swift. It also deleted pedestrian improvements on the NE 185th Street bridge over I-5; the sidewalks are narrow, about five feet. This seems counter productive. Perhaps the city and school district, owner of the stadium, could be partners on the garage west of I-5; using the same stalls twice during each day is best. Land next to the station is better used for housing.

    1. The garage would be under the bus loop, so there’s no new land takings that could block new development, and the entrance will be out on 8th Avenue, while buses get direct access to NE 185th (avoiding two intersections, which may or may not be signalized or become roundabouts).

    2. The ST investment is significant in these cities. These cities are probably eager to welcome the stations — and the economic and tax benefits that will permanently come from the project.

      I wish there was some way for each city to be given the option to restore and pay for restoring the various improved station access projects.

      Taking it away without asking these cities seems rather unfair politically. After all, the riders are usually residents of these cities.

      The best thing for a city to do at this point is to get their council step up to the plate and put money on the table to do the access right! That would need to happen right away — in the next few weeks!

  14. “These cities are probably eager to welcome the stations — and the economic and tax benefits that will permanently come from the project.

    I was at the scoping meeting for Shoreline when ST started the Lynnwood Link process.

    At the Q&A segment at the end I asked a simple question about the I-5 alignment vs. the Interurban alignment, since both appeared quite close in cost and ridership, save for one curious thing.

    The Shorline representative’s statement was “As long as it doesn’t affect our current plans, we’re okay with it”

    Shoreline was in the middle of their ‘Aurora Avenue Beautification and Widening to LA Boulevard Standards’ project.

    In other words, we’ll go along as long as you don’t touch this project.

    What was the curious thing I noticed about the Cost/Benefit analysis?
    That, unlike what parameters I saw on the I-405 project, this C/B analysis used a horizon year 20 years out. (I-405 was using 30).

    Makes the ridership from TOD a different animal.

    Lynnwood Link is over in the I-5 Corridor for the same reason the Eastside has ‘BRT’ in the I-405 Corridor.
    “Keep that crap out of our back yard, and over in the area that’s already unlivable, please”

    I don’t know how ‘eager’ fits into all this.

    1. I talked to the Shoreline staff at one of the Lynnwood Link open houses, and I didn’t hear that “Don’t touch Aurora”, although I did hear some impressive upzoning plans at the RapidRide stations and on 185th.

      If Shoreline did say that, it would parallel Tukwila’s objection to Link on 99. Tukwila didn’t want surface rail on 99 because it had just beautified the street and didn’t want it torn up again. Tukwila also objected to crossing a bit of Southcenter’s land. That led to the elevated alignment and bypassing Southcenter.

      1. All of this is so dumb. There should be an elevated line along 99 as far north and south as we can get, with spurs splcing off into various dense areas along the way.

    2. One of the issues, from what I’ve heard, is how trains would make the westward turn from Northgate to Aurora. Running elevated track through those neighborhoods could have been too controversial to consider.

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