Thursday, May 21, 2009

Seattle Metro Changes

Link Light Rail Begins July 18

On Saturday, July18, Link will begin operating a 14-mile light rail segment from Westlake Station in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel to its new Tukwila/International Blvd Station, at SR-518 just north of Sea-Tac Airport. This initial segment will also serve Seattle's SODO industrial area, Beacon Hill and Rainier Valley. Trains will run every seven to eight minutes during peak commuting hours, and every 10 to 15 minutes during midday, weekend and evening hours.

A 1.7-mile extension from Tukwila to Sea-Tac Airport is scheduled to open in December 2009. Until then, the ST Link Connector will provide a non-stop shuttle bus connection between Tukwila International Blvd Station and Sea-Tac Airport until the airport Link station opens in late 2009.

Besides the four stations in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, Link will serve five new street-level stations at S Royal Brougham Way, S Lander St, S Edmunds St, S Othello St, S Henderson St and the new Beacon Hill and Mount Baker stations. The Beacon Hill station is 150 feet below the street surface of S Lander St. Entrances are at the southeast corner of Beacon Ave S & S Lander St. The new Mount Baker station will be an elevated station just west of Rainier Ave S & Martin Luther King Jr Way S, south of S McClellan St. A new Metro transit center, scheduled to open in September 2009, will be located near this station on the east side of Rainier Ave S.

New Hours for the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel

Beginning Saturday, May 30, the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel will be open from 5 am to 1 am weekdays and Saturday, and from 6 am to midnight on Sunday. All current tunnel routes will operate in the tunnel during these times.

When the DSTT is closed, tunnel routes will operate on 2nd Ave, 3rd Ave, 4th Ave or 5th Ave in downtown Seattle. Please refer to tunnel route information below and your timetable for routing on surface streets.

Major Roadwork on I-90 Floating Bridge

During May, bus service was affected along with other traffic on the I-90 floating bridge as the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) closed the express lanes to replace expansion joints.

From Sunday, July 5, to Tuesday, July 28, the state DOT will close the westbound general-purpose lanes of I-90 to replace expansion joints, moving all traffic to the express lanes. This closure could result in significant congestion on the I-90 express lanes with potential delays of up to 60 minutes. Related delays can also be expected on I-5, SR-520, I-405 and surrounding surface streets.

During these times, please plan ahead and be flexible. If possible, plan your westbound commute for an earlier or different time and stay tuned to local media for current traffic conditions. Use existing schedules to plan your trip, and give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination. Since there are few detours for crossing Lake Washington, consider biking or joining a vanpool or carpool.

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