Milestone stations for Sound Transit

Sound Transit Board members, joined by Sen. Patty Murray, gathered yesterday in Seattle’s SODO area to tour the region’s first two finished light rail passenger stations.

The two completed stations, Stadium Station and SODO Station, are the first to be substantially completed out of the thirteen along the 15.6-miles between Downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. Construction of the 13.9-mile alignment between downtown and Tukwila is now approximately 45 percent complete.

Civil construction for the stations as well as 1.3 miles of completed track in SODO was carried out by Kiewit-Pacific. The segment’s overhead power lines and signal and communication systems are now being installed, and starting this fall the completed track will be used for initial testing of light rail vehicles.

“These new light rail stations offer a glimpse of the future of mass transit in the Puget Sound region,” Sen. Murray said. “This is an incredibly exciting time as the system takes shape. These completed platforms are undeniable evidence that light rail transit is on the way!”

“Seeing these finished stations is a moment we’ve looked forward to since we broke ground here in SODO 2-1/2 years ago,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. “Sound Transit will bring this project in within budget and we’re on schedule to start passenger service in 2009. Each day’s progress shows Sound Transit is delivering the projects our region needs to keep moving and stay competitive.”

SODO Station is a street-level facility located along the Metro Busway just north of Lander Street. The station, providing service to SODO’s thriving commercial and industrial areas, features twin 400-foot-long platforms, one platform serving northbound trains and one southbound. The station includes landscaping and a plaza featuring art by Michael Davis, who designed a sculptural archway and benches that highlight SODO’s industrial heritage. The station is projected to be used by more than 1,700 riders daily.

Stadium Station is located at street level along the Metro Busway south of Royal Brougham Way, providing service to Safeco Field, Qwest Field and the surrounding areas. The station features a single, 400-foot-long center platform that will serve both northbound and southbound trains. A nearby “pocket track” for storing light rail trains will enable quick deployment of extra trains after major events. Between 170,000 and 250,000 riders annually are projected to use Stadium Station depending on the number of events.

Sound transit estimates that by 2020, Link light rail will generate 45,000 daily boardings between downtown Seattle and the Airport. Riders will take advantage of the fast, frequent and reliable light rail service, free of delays from congestion and bad weather.