Sound Transit and Bellevue officials broke ground on a new light rail maintenance facility in the city’s Spring District on April 4. It will help facilitate the planned light rail expansions in coming years. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Sound Transit and Bellevue officials broke ground on a new light rail maintenance facility in the city’s Spring District on April 4. It will help facilitate the planned light rail expansions in coming years. Aaron Kunkler/Staff Photo

Construction underway at Sound Transit’s Operations and Maintenance Facility East

The facility will serve upcoming Redmond light rail stations.

Local officials met Wednesday to break ground on a new maintenance facility for Sound Transit rail cars in the Spring District of Bellevue, which will come online in 2020.

Once completed the Operations and Maintenance Facility East will accommodate the inspection, service, maintenance, storage and deployment of up to 96 light rail vehicles that will service light rail extensions as part of Sound Transit’s buildout. While the facility was approved as part of Sound Transit 2, it will also serve additional Redmond stations in the Sound Transit 3 (ST3) package. The $54 billion ST3 project was approved by voters in 2016 and will build light rail from Lynnwood to Federal Way and east to Bellevue, Redmond and Issaquah for a total of 114 miles of rail by 2041.

The maintenance facility will employ up to 250 people with 14 service bays, a cleaning and wash bay, a shop and parts storage, office space and onsite parking.

The facility was first proposed in 2014 but received backlash from the community. People were concerned about citing an industrial facility in the neighborhood. Sound Transit, the city of Bellevue and local community groups were able to come to an agreement that allowed the project to proceed. As part of this, the nearly $450 million project will be a transit-oriented development that includes 1.1 million square feet of housing, office and retail space.

“This has turned out to be a much-improved project due to community input,” said Edna Shim, community relations director for Seattle Children’s Hospital and who represented community groups in the planning process.

Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff spoke at the groundbreaking, saying the project will help connect the Eastside to Seattle as well as to itself. One of Sound Transit’s main goals is to help curb the worsening traffic congestion the Puget Sound area is experiencing. Construction of the Bellevue extension has, in some cases, temporarily worsened traffic.

“We understand that construction can be a hindrance,” Rogoff acknowledged, thanking residents for being patient.

Bellevue Mayor John Chelminiak said the transit-oriented design could serve as a model for other transit agencies around the country if it proves to be successful. Light rail will also benefit Bellevue, he said.

“We are at ground zero for the future success of Bellevue,” Chelminiak said.

The Hensel Phelps company secured the bid to construct the facility. A representative said it will take an estimated 620,000 worker-hours to complete and would directly create 1,800 jobs.

When completed there will be 10 stations in the East Link light rail line. These include one in Seattle and Mercer Island, six in Bellevue and two in Redmond. The Eastside stations are scheduled to be operating by 2023.

A final Eastside segment stretching to central Issaquah is planned to be online by 2041. Additional bus services were approved in ST3 for north end cities like Bothell, Woodinville and Kenmore.

More in News

Malena Gaces, left, and other members of Washington CAN protest unfair move-out charges and alleged discriminatory behavior outside Kitts Corner Apartments in Federal Way in 2018. Sound Publishing file photo
King County could increase tenant protections

The council is considering ordinances designed to help renters.

Art planned for Overlake Village to celebrate tech, LGBTQ+ community

A Gateway art and bike/pedestrian art tunnel are planned.

The 2015 Wolverine Fire in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest near Lake Chelan. Photo courtesy of the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
The smoky summer that wasn’t

While Washington had a mild season, wildfires burned near the Arctic.

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, Mayor John Marchione, APA Washington Incoming President Nancy Eklund, and Senator Patty Murray’s Chief of Staff, Mindi Linquist at the Cleveland Street’s National Recognition on Oct. 10. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Cleveland Street recognized as a ‘Great Street in America’

The Cleveland Street project was part of a 20-year vision for downtown Redmond in efforts to turn the neighborhood into an urban center.

Dane Scarimbolo and Dominique Torgerson run Four Horsemen Brewery in Kent. They were almost shut down in late 2017 by King County, which after years of letting them operate a brewery and taproom, decided they were in violation of county code. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Proposed winery ordinance irks King County farmers, neighbors and businesses

Concerns include more traffic, higher land prices, code enforcement and compliance.

The indoor batting cages will be located at Redmond Ridge Park at 22915 NE Alder Crest Drive. The facility will include 3 lanes for the batting cages. Photo courtesy of King County
King County agrees for construction of indoor batting cage facility at Redmond Ridge Park

The ordinance authorizes for a five-year use agreement between King County and Redmond North Little League.

Steve Fields and Angela Birney answer questions at the candidate forum hosted by Education Hill Neighborhood Association (EdHNA) at First Baptist Church on Oct. 3. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
Birney and Fields discuss transportation, growth and more in Redmond

The forum was held at First Baptist Church last Friday.

Redmond man’s guns seized after police alerted to concerning posts

He has a history of allegedly making online threats toward women.

Most Read