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Narrated 12-minute video provides a close look at East Link as final design efforts continue
Have you been curious about what the East Link light rail extension will look like in Bellevue when it opens in 2023? If so, you can now view Sound Transit’s narrated 12-minute video that provides an animated look at the advancing design for the Bellevue and Redmond portions of East Link: http://www.soundtransit.org/EastLinkAnimation
The East Link light rail extension has entered final design, the process that advances design work from approximately 30 percent to 100 percent completion. The Bellevue segment of East Link is now 60 percent complete. To view renderings and other information about these designs, please visit the Sound Transit East Link Document Archive. Final design offers many opportunities for residents, neighborhood organizations, property owners and businesses to get involved.
Please watch this page and Sound Transit East Link website for information about future meetings on final design.
Sound Transit Operations and Maintenance Satellite Facility (OMSF)
In the fall of 2012, the Sound Transit Board of Directors identified four OMSF alternatives to be studied in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Sound Transit, together with the Federal Transit Administration, is currently preparing the Draft EIS, which will be available for public review and comment upon completion.
- Winter 2013 – Spring 2014: Environmental review of identified sites.
- Second Quarter 2014 – Draft EIS issued by Sound Transit for public comment.
- Third Quarter 2014 – Sound Transit Board identifies preferred site.
- Fourth Quarter 2014 – Final EIS published and Sound Transit Board selects site.
To learn more about this project, please visit the Sound Transit OMSF website.
Bellevue Way HOV Lane
Decisions by the Bellevue City Council and the Sound Transit Board have separated the prospective Bellevue Way SE HOV lane between the 112th Ave SE “Y” and the South Bellevue park-and-ride from the East Link extension project. The HOV line segment is included in the city’s 2013-2024 transportation facilities plan (TFP), but is not currently funded for implementation.
- July 25, 2013- The City published the Final EIS for the 2013-2014 TFP, which is available at, http://www.bellevuewa.gov/transportation-facilities-plan.htm
- August 5, 2013- The City Council adopted the 2013-2024 TFP, which is available at, http://www.bellevuewa.gov/transportation-facilities-plan.htm.
- 2014- The Bellevue Way SE HOV project will be among the candidate projects considered for funding in conjunction with the update of the City Capital budget (2015-2021 Capital Investment Program or "CIP" plan). Potential options for the Bellevue Way HOV lane project include funding for full design and construction, funding for the project design only, funding for pre-design work only, or no funding. Information about the 2014 budget process, including the CIP update, is posted here. Opportunities for public input are scheduled for May 19, July 21 and November 17 (dates are tentative; check the websit or sign up for email alerts to confirm). Adoption by the City Council of the updated budget will occur in late 2014.
Sound Transit Conducting Field Work
Over the next several months residents may notice Sound Transit staff conducting field work along the East Link Extension light rail alignment. They'll be out collecting information to help advance the East Link design. Field work can include:
- Geotechnical exploration: Drillings help Sound Transit better understand soil conditions along the light rail alignment. Boring holes are typically four to 12 inches in diameter and vary in depth. Once the boring is complete, the hole is backfilled and the area is returned to its existing condition.
- Survey: Consists of research on all ground features including utilities, trees, fences, buildings, roadways and other features.
- Utility exploration: Commonly referred to as potholing, includes digging a hole or series of holes to locate a utility. Once the utility is found, the hole(s) will be backfilled and the area is returned to its existing condition.
- Wetland delineation: A biologist investigates the property, possibly digging a few shallow holes, and if necessary, stakes out an area determined to be a wetland.
While much of the field work will take place on public right of way, there will be some need to conduct activities on private property. To ensure the design of East Link is based on the best possible information, Sound Transit will soon be requesting permission to access private property (right of entry) along the alignment and in the vicinity. Work on private property will only take place following permission from property owners. Sound Transit Community Outreach is committed to providing advanced notification to all those affected by field work. For questions or additional information regarding the East Link project, please contact Sound Transit at 206-398-5465 (LINK) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The public has had additional opportunities to provide input on the light rail project via:
- Light Rail Permitting Citizen Advisory Committee: The CAC represents a citywide perspective in design and permit review of the East Link light rail facilities and tracks. All CAC meetings are public and will initially occur every two weeks, with agendas and presentation materials available on the committee's meetings page.
- City Council meetings: Council involvement in the East Link process has been in-depth and sustained since March 2007. All council meetings are televised and the video from past meetings can be accessed at Bellevue TV.
- City of Bellevue public meetings: City staff and consultants hired by the city have held meetings and open houses to provide information and receive comments.
- Light Rail Best Practices Committee: Active from June 2007 to June 2008, the committee researched light rail experiences of other North American cities and held 14 public meetings and four public events.
- Public comment on the draft environmental impact statements: Sound Transit held five public meetings, including two in Bellevue, and the City Council held a public hearing on the draft EIS. More than 500 people attended the three meetings in Bellevue, and approximately 125 people commented. A public meeting and public hearing was also held in Bellevue for the supplemental draft EIS.
- Sound Transit Board of Directors meetings: East Link is a frequent topic of discussion at board meetings. To submit questions or comments to the board, write to Board Administrator, Sound Transit, 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98104; or e-mail email@example.com
- Sound Transit workshops and open houses: Sound Transit has held several workshops and open houses on East Link, most of them at Bellevue City hall.