Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sound Transit East Link elevated under construction

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Sound Transit East Link elevated under construction Sound Transit via Flickr

Sound Transit has announced the start of construction on the first elevated section of the East Link extension.

The girders spanning 112th Avenue Northeast will support a guideway for trains traveling between Bellevue and Redmond, Sound Transit said.

Crews placed two 117-foot pre-cast girders Monday night, the first of a series that will create the base of the aerial guideway.

When the girders are set, Sound Transit said they will support a cast-in-place concrete deck under the light-rail tracks and power system.

Crews are currently working near the site of the future Bellevue Downtown station, which is adjacent to Bellevue City Hall on Sixth Street. This street-level station is set to have entrances located on 110th Avenue Northeast and 112th Avenue Northeast.

Track east of the station will be elevated to cross I-405, continuing through the hospital district and reaching to the future Wilburton station, and into Bel-Red, where it will return to street level.

East Link will extend light-rail by 14 miles from downtown Seattle to downtown Bellevue and the Overlake area of Redmond via Interstate 90, with 10 stations, officials said.

Construction began on all segments of the East Link alignment in June 2017, Sound Transit said, adding that significant progress has been made in the past six months of 2017. Accomplishments include:

  • Preliminary work for post-tensioning of the I-90 floating bridge is under way.
  • Significant progress has been made on the parking garage at the future South Bellevue station.
  • Excavation of the tunnel beneath downtown Bellevue has passed the half-way mark, and work at the north portal site has begun.
  • Drilled shafts for elevated guideway are in progress across the alignment.

East Link is predicted to be operational in 2023.

Sound Transit will open a 3.6-mile extension further east to new stations in Southeast Redmond and downtown Redmond in 2024 under funding approved in November 2016.

A time-lapse video of the girder placement process can be viewed here.

Animations of the future East Link alignment can be viewed here.

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