[nfbwatlk] Sound Transit CEO Report
lawnmower84 at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 12 01:16:05 CDT 2010
>From Joni Earl
April 9, 2010
In this edition
* East Link update
* Link noise mitigation continues
* Fare changes considered
* I-90 project groundbreaking
* Bothell improvements groundbreaking
* Photo of the Week
* Capital Committee action on Thursday
East Link route update
The Sound Transit Board's Capital Committee on Thursday reached consensus on
a recommendation to the full Sound Transit Board to modify the East Link
preferred alternative alignment.
East Link is the 14-mile light rail extension between East King County and
Seattle. Stations are planned for Rainier Avenue in Seattle, Mercer Island,
Bellevue and Overlake in Redmond with service starting in 2020/2021.
The full Sound Transit Board is scheduled to discuss potential modifications
to the East Link preferred alternative at its April 22 meeting.
The Capital Committee on Thursday voiced its support for:
* Advancing two alternatives into preliminary engineering for the
downtown Bellevue light rail segment. One alternative is at-grade, the other
a tunnel under downtown Bellevue. Capital Committee members noted that
although the tunnel option offers faster travel times and higher ridership,
its financial feasibility is unclear and uncertain. The committee's support
for this alternative is based on the assumption that the City of Bellevue
contributes $150 million toward the East Link project.
* Modifying the preferred alternative so that in addition to serving
the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride and running on the east side of Bellevue
Way, light rail would continue into downtown Bellevue along 112th Avenue SE,
which could save money and reduce ecosystem impacts. Members supported
working together with the City of Bellevue and the community to refine the
112th alignment, including as it transitions into downtown Bellevue.
* Performing preliminary engineering on a retained cut option on the
Spring District site, located in the Bel-Red Overlake segment, while
continuing to explore a public-private partnership with the developer,
* Modifying the preferred alternative for the Overlake Village Station
moving further north along SR520, which could save money and lead to faster
train travel times.
Link noise mitigation continues
As you know, we've been working the last several months on reducing the
noise from our Link light rail trains in Tukwila and the Rainier Valley.
We're starting to see results.
Solar-powered lubricators that periodically dispense a dab of lubricant on
some of the curves in the Rainier Valley and Tukwila are reducing the "wheel
squeal" noise. All but two of the eight lubricators are in service, with the
rest scheduled to be on line next week.
We're also modifying two switch crossings to eliminate the "ka-thunk" sound
when trains pass over the switches. That work is taking place at night and
weekends to minimize disruption for our Link passengers. The switch work
should be completed in the next few months.
In another noise reducing measure, Sound Transit has lowered the volume of
the bells as our trains approach intersections and stations. That volume is
now about the same as other light rail lines across the country. The City of
Seattle also lowered the level of its crossing bells when trains approach
Sound Transit staff on Thursday told the Board's Capital Committee that
we're continuing to stay in touch with community members along the light
rail line on the noise issue and still working on potential solutions,
including putting in a temporary noise wall along one section of the
elevated tracks in Tukwila.
Fare changes considered
At its April 22 meeting, the Sound Transit Board will consider proposed fare
changes for ST Express bus and Link light rail services. Besides raising
revenue in response to higher operating costs, the proposed changes would
also make it easier to ride Sound Transit by eliminating the current
three-zone system and bringing fares into alignment with other local transit
The proposal is two-phased, with one set of changes in June 2010, another in
June 2011. Sound Transit is hosting a public hearing to receive comments on
the proposed changes April 22 from noon to 12:30 p.m. We're also encouraging
people to send their e-mail comments to STFareComments at soundtransit.org or
by mail to Sound Transit, Fare Proposals, 401 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA
98104. All written comments must be received by April 22.
ST Express bus fares have increased only once, in 2005, during the 11 years
the service has operated. Details on all the fare changes can be found here:
I-90 project groundbreaking
Join us next week for the groundbreaking event for Stage Two of the
three-part I-90 Two-Way Transit & HOV Operations project.
The event is Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Mercer Island Boat Launch parking
lot under the I-90 Bridge on the eastern shore of Mercer Island. Board Chair
Aaron Reardon is master of ceremonies.
You may recall that in the fall of 2008, we celebrated completion of the
first stage of the project, which added a new westbound HOV lane and HOV
direct access ramp at 80th Avenue Southeast on Mercer Island, and modified
the direct access ramp at Bellevue Way.
The second stage includes a new eastbound HOV lane between Mercer Island and
Bellevue - which will mean that transit and carpools will have their own
lane both ways, all day - not just in the peak direction. That should
translate into a real difference in people's travel times.
Bothell improvements groundbreaking
Just a quick note that on Tuesday, Sound Transit Boardmember Joe Marine, who
is also mayor of Mukilteo, joined leaders from throughout the region to
celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony for the transit, traffic and other
major improvements in Bothell.
Besides adding HOV improvements along SR 522 to help improve bus speed and
reliability, the project includes traffic signal work, an additional left
turn lane, retaining walls, landscaping, lighting, curbs, gutters and
The City of Bothell is leading the project and we're providing about $8.5
million towards its completion. Other partners include King County Metro and
the State Department of Transportation. Construction is expected to be
completed by the end of next year.
The transportation improvements are part of a makeover in Bothell that
includes establishing new blocks for development, improving the pedestrian
link to the Sammamish River and enhancing the park at Bothell Landing.
Photo of the Week
Our photo this week shows a crew placing concrete at the new Mountlake
Terrace Freeway Station.
The Capital Committee on Thursday:
Approved a contract with Construct Company to provide construction services
for the Puyallup Parking Expansion project in the amount of $1,701,178, with
a 10% contingency of $170,118, for a total authorized contract amount not to
. Approved a contract with JEM Contractors, Inc., to retrofit
escalator pits with drainage systems and upgrade Heating, Ventilation, and
Air Conditioning systems at the Mount Baker, Tukwila International
Boulevard, and SeaTac/Airport Stations, in the amount of $992,369, with a 10
percent contingency of $99,237, for a total authorized contract amount not
to exceed $1,091,606.
. Approved a one-year contract with four one-year options with Vinson
Brothers Corporation to provide landscape services for non-operating Sound
Transit properties for a total authorized contract amount not to exceed
. Approved a contract amendment with Michael Minor Associates to
provide additional noise and vibration consultant services for the Central
Link Initial Segment project in the amount of $224,948, with a 10 percent
contingency of $22,495 totaling $247,443, for a new total authorized
contract amount not to exceed $447,183.
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