Planned light rail service disruptions beginning this summer will continue through 2023

As sound transit continues construction to maintain and expand light rail operations, riders are urged to prepare for “intermittent periods of less frequent service and replacement bus service” beginning this summer.

This is part of a construction and maintenance plan to eventually double the length of the light rail system. These disturbances will begin in July.

Sound Transit is preparing for Link’s 33-mile extension over the next three years with a plan called “Future Ready,” which also includes plans to ensure existing operations are in top condition.

New Bellevue facility will allow Sound Transit to triple its light rail fleet

“We need to make sure our system is ready for the major expansions ahead,” Brooke Belman, interim CEO of Sound Transit, said in a prepared statement. “These projects will impact far fewer runners 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.

Travel will be affected on the following days: July 11 to July 24 and August 22 to September 4 as train frequency will be reduced to 20 minutes each way during all hours as crews replace tiles at the station of Columbia City.

From October 21-23 and November 11-13, train frequency will again be reduced to 20 minutes in each direction until 11 p.m., due to work in the downtown Seattle transit tunnel. A shuttle bus will be available from 11 p.m. until the end of service to connect passengers between Capitol Hill and SODO stations.

Additional periods of reduced service are expected for a period of five days in the third quarter of 2022, a period of at least three weeks in the fourth quarter and additional impacts in the first quarter of 2023.

Sound Transit’s expansion project continues to move forward despite CEO Peter Rogoff’s decision to step down earlier this week.

Sound Transit’s outgoing CEO reflects on managing the nation’s largest transit expansion

“As staff, we knew we were set on an ambitious path, but in the years since 2016, as we sought to both complete ST-2 and launch the fullness of ST-3, we have understood that our plans were not just ambitious, but in fact, they were a bit audacious,” Rogoff told the Sound Transit board.

Some construction projects in the “Future Ready” plan include the re-tile of the Columbia City train station, as it is deemed necessary to replace failing station tiles on the station platform. The tiles are failing before their expected lifespan due to issues with the concrete underneath and creating a safety hazard, according to Sound Transit.

Work scheduled for October and November in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel (DSTT) will divide the tunnel’s overhead catenary system into four separate sections. Once completed, the entire tunnel will not need to be closed for future works in a single section, as is currently the case.

The fourth quarter work in the DSTT consists of repairing equipment and rails. This work will reduce the risk of delays and result in a smoother journey for customers.

Riders are encouraged to sign up for Rider Alerts for the latest information.

Jose P. Rogers