Now that Redmond Link has officially broken ground, significant construction will be beginning in the Spring along the 3.4 mile extension from Redmond Technology Station to Downtown Redmond. Two new stations will be added in Downtown Redmond and just across the freeway at Southeast Redmond. The station designs are making their way through design review. The scope of the review is limited and most structural elements of the line are excluded. But it is an opportunity for the rest of us to see what the stations will look like.
The downtown Redmond station is an elevated structure in the Redmond Central Connector corridor (once part of a spur line from the Eastside Rail Corridor) and spans 166th Ave NE. There will be bus stops on either side of the station along Cleveland St and NE 76th St. The station will have entrances on either side of 166th and will parallel the Redmond Connector trail which is being relocated very slightly to the north.
At the west end of the station is a 400′ tail track for storing trains overnight. The tail tracks will be screened with an architectural expression. It’s not large enough to block the view of the tail tracks, but it ensures the line does not appear unfinished or ended abruptly.
The Southeast Redmond station is a fairly simple grade level station. The dominant architectural feature will be a 1,400 car parking structure just to the east of the station. The station area is bounded by SR 520 to the north, but the neighborhood around the station is otherwise expected to urbanize. Indeed, several apartment projects are now in review.
Trains will run through the ground level of the garage which will also accommodate bus bays and bike parking. The parking for cars will be on the upper floors.
While the city is looking for a design that minimizes visual impacts from the neighborhood, the garage will nevertheless appear rather large from the freeway.
An entrance ramp for cars at the east end of the garage will keep most auto traffic away from the more pedestrian-friendly area immediate around the station, and also avoids P&R traffic driving through very much of the new neighborhood.