Sound Transit breaks ground on new light rail facility in Bellevue

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SEATTLE – Sound Transit has begun construction of its new Operations and Maintenance Facility: East, which will service and house light rail vehicles for Link extensions to Northgate, Lynnwood, Federal Way, and Redmond.

An event in Bellevue April 4 marked the occasion, with remarks by Congressman Adam Smith; King County Councilmember and Sound Transit Boardmember Claudia Balducci; Bellevue Mayor John Chelminiak; Hensel Phelps Vice President and District Manager Jim Pappas; Seattle Children's Hospital Director of Regional Government Affairs & Community Relations and stakeholder group member Edna Shim; and Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff.

"The City of Bellevue has continued its record growth and expansion, highlighting the importance of innovation in its transportation infrastructure. Light rail is a crucial transportation option that has been helping to meet the growing needs of Bellevue residents," Congressman Adam Smith says. "The new Operations and Maintenance Facility: East will not only support expanded capacity in the light rail system, but it will also include much-needed transit oriented development, giving residents the ability to easily access public transit options from where they live."

"Today we celebrate a success story. When I was on the Bellevue City Council, we had a vision to transform the Bel-Red area into a model of mixed use development centered around Eastlink light rail," King County Councilmember and Sound Transit Boardmember Claudia Balducci says. "Many of us were disappointed at the proposal to build an industrial rail maintenance base within walking distance of the station, which would have been a lost opportunity. However, in the ensuing years, Sound Transit, the City of Bellevue and many partners in the community worked diligently and found a creative way to provide this base which is needed to run the light rail system, also realizing our dreams of a vibrant, mixed-use community where people can live and work right next to the light rail station."

"This facility will propel our regional light rail system forward from 20 miles today to 58 miles by 2024, with longer and more frequent trains serving more riders all the way from Lynnwood to Redmond to Federal Way," Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff says.

Sound Transit worked with the city of Bellevue and community partners to incorporate an opportunity for transit-oriented development at the new facility to integrate with new housing, office, and retail projects occurring in the Spring District. About 1.1 million square feet will be available for transit-oriented development when construction of the facility is complete at the end of 2020.
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