Sound Transit maintenance projects to impact light rail service

Riders can expect delays later this year

Light rail riders can expect periods of less frequent service and replacement bus service over the rest of the year and into next year as Sound Transit performs several maintenance projects.

“Getting ready for the 33 miles of Link extensions coming over the next three years involves a lot more than just construction on the extensions,” according to Sound Transit. “It also means making sure that our existing operations are in top condition as we prepare to tie the new extensions into our current one. This work is getting us ready for the future, which is why we’re calling it Future Ready.”

Starting in July through early 2023, the agency is going to have a series of construction and maintenance activities that will help it prepare for the transformative changes ahead.

But these Future Ready activities mean that passengers will need to prepare for intermittent periods of less frequent service and replacement bus service.

The first work to get underway will be the replacement of station platform tiles at Columbia City Station in Seattle.

Because the tiles are failing well short of their intended lifespan, creating hazards, single-tracking is necessary while the tiles are replaced and the platform is repaired.

The next project will take place over two three-day periods in October and November in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, as Sound Transit works on the overhead catenary system. As a result of this work, for many projects the entire tunnel will not need to be closed for future work in a single section, as is currently the case.

Sound Transit staff reports that doing this work now means the agency will impact far fewer riders now than if it delayed the work until after further expansions open.

“While the disruptions that this work will cause are unavoidable, we will work hard to minimize the impact on service to our riders,” according to Sound Transit. “The end result will be a safe and improved system ready for our next phase of growth.”

Travel impacts

• July 11-24; Aug. 22-Sept. 4

The No. 1 Line train frequencies will be reduced to 20 minutes systemwide in each direction during all operating hours while crews replace platform tiles at Columbia City Station. The work requires the closure of one track at the station, forcing all trains to use a single track between Mount Baker and Othello stations.

• Oct. 21-23; Nov. 11-13

As a result of work on the overhead catenary system in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel (DSTT), train frequencies will be reduced to 20 minutes in each direction until 11 p.m. From 11 p.m. until end of revenue service, a Link bus shuttle will be available to connect passengers between Capitol Hill Station and SODO Station.

• A period of five days in late Quarter 3 2022

In order to repair and replace the overhead catenary system, Link will be shut down between Rainier Beach and Tukwila International Blvd. stations with a Link bus shuttle connecting passengers between these two stations.

• A period of at least three weeks in Quarter 4 2022

Trains will be single tracked through the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and train frequencies will be reduced to 20 minutes.

• Quarter 1 2023

This work is needed to complete connections between the current 1-Line service and new 2-Line tracks that will link riders to the Eastside. Impacts are still to be determined.