Light rail maintenance on the link, construction due to begin next month; passengers should be prepared for service disruptions

Link riders will experience service disruptions starting next month as Sound Transit crews begin maintenance and construction to expand light rail operations.

Transport officials said that Project “Future Ready” will prepare for the addition of 33 miles of light rail system over the next three years.

The works will require riders to plan longer journey times in advance and prepare for “intermittent periods of travel impacts” from July to early 2023.

“We need to make sure our system is ready for the major expansions ahead,” said Brooke Belman, interim CEO of Sound Transit. “These projects will impact far fewer passengers now than if we postponed them until new extensions open. While the disruption these works will cause are unavoidable, we will work hard to minimize the impact on service at our passengers. The end result will be a safe and improved system ready for our next phase of growth.”

Sound Transit listed the important dates and details of work in progress for the first two phases:

From July 11 to July 24 and from August 22 to September 4.

In order to replace the tiles at Columbia City Station, train frequencies will be reduced to 20 minutes each direction during all hours of operation during a track closure, requiring all trains to use a single track between Mount Baker and Tukwila.

Oct. 21 to Sunday, Oct. 23 and Nov. 11 to Sunday, Nov. 13

Following work on the overhead catenary system in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel (DSTT), train frequency will be reduced to 20 minutes each direction until 11 p.m. From 11:00 p.m. until the end of paid service, a Link bus shuttle will be available. to connect passengers between Capitol Hill station and SODO station.

A period of five days at the end of the third quarter of 2022

In order to repair and replace the overhead catenary system, Link will be closed between Rainier Beach and Tukwila International Blvd. stations with a Link bus shuttle linking passengers between these two stations.

A period of at least three weeks in Q4 2022

Trains will be single track via DSTT and train frequency will be reduced to 20 minutes.

Q1 2023

This work is necessary to complete the connections between the current 1-Line service and the new 2-Line tracks that will connect riders to the Eastside. The impacts remain to be determined.

Passengers who wish to stay informed of upcoming service changes can sign up for Sound Transit’s jumper alerts.

While the Future Ready project is underway, Sound Transit said it will continue work to replace all escalators and elevators in Seattle’s Downtown Transit Tunnel.

Jose P. Rogers