South Bellevue Station FAQs

What is the South Bellevue Station?

The South Bellevue Station is part of East Link. The station will be located on Bellevue Way Southeast at the current South Bellevue Park and Ride site. The elevated station will include bus and paratransit transfer facilities and 1,500 parking stalls. The station is anticipated to open for service in 2023.

How long will construction of East Link in south Bellevue take?

Construction of East Link in south Bellevue (from I-90 to 112th Avenue Southeast) is estimated to take approximately five years. Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2017 and the most notable construction activity will be the closure of the South Bellevue Park and Ride.

Has Sound Transit hired a contractor?

Yes. On October 27, 2016, the Sound Transit Board of Directors authorized the contract with Schmmick/Parsons Joint Venture. The South Bellevue segment has been procured using the "design/build" method.

Where will construction equipment staging be located?

Most of the staging will occur at the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride site. Additional staging will also occur adjacent to the alignment along Bellevue Way Southeast and 112th Avenue Southeast and within the median of I-90.

What will be the hours of construction?

Typical construction hours will be Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, on occasion, work hours for certain activities may extend until 8 p.m. During weekend (partial) road closures, expect work hours from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Extended Work Hours Permit
The City approved an Extended Work Hours Permit for the South Bellevue segment so that Sound Transit's contractor can conduct work around the clock for 39 months. This permit covers only work that crosses the I-90 ramps south of the South Bellevue light rail station. This work includes construction over an active freeway which cannot be accomplished during the daytime (and requires closure of the ramps). This is not continual 24-hour work across 39 months but will involve intermittent closures, with specific dates to be controlled by WSDOT.

The South Bellevue Extended Work Hours permit (16-124380 LY) also allows work to be conducted up to 10 p.m. on weekdays and up to 9 p.m. on weekends north of the light rail station site (under construction) to the Wye on 112th Avenue SE for up to 34 months. This is to allow construction on Bellevue Way to be completed in a more expeditious manner.

There is an additional extended work hours permit issued in order for the delivery and installation of large concrete girders at the South Bellevue station. Transportation of these is not allowed by WSDOT during daytime hours. This permit is not for continual 24-hour work throughout the duration of the permit but for intermittent work.

Where will Sound Transit’s contractors park?

Sound Transit’s contractors will park within their owner designated area as this is a requirement per Sound Transit’s contracting.

What construction will happen on Bellevue Way Southeast and for how long?

Expect construction activities along Bellevue Way Southeast, from I-90 to 112th Avenue, such as utility relocation, retaining wall installation and construction of the guideway. Sound Transit is anticipating construction for the South Bellevue Segment will take approximately five years. Construction from the South Bellevue station to 112th is anticipated to have the greatest impact on traffic and is anticipated to take approximately 29 months (just about 2 ½ years). Financial incentives are in Sound Transit’s contractor bid documents to reduce this duration to 22 months.

The first phase of construction will involve the relocation of public and private utilities on Bellevue Way followed by the guideway construction. The third phase will be to restore Bellevue Way pavement, sidewalk, striping and landscaping.

In June 2017, full and partial weekend closures of Bellevue Way and the I-90 ramps began. Expect similar closures through November 2017.

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Will there be road and lane closures on Bellevue Way SE?

Yes. There will be full and partial weekend road closures as well as lane closures throughout construction of the South Bellevue Segment (which includes the station and guideway construction).

Full weekend closures will extend from I-90 to the “Y” at 112th Avenue SE and all lanes in both directions will be closed. The current Maintenance of Traffic Plan notes that approximately 10 full weekend closures may occur; however other such closures may be approved with justification.

During the full closures, local and emergency access will be provided. Note: Revisions to maintenance of traffic plans will likely occur.

As for partial closures, per the Memorandum of Understanding between the City and Sound Transit, the contractor will maintain two (2) lanes of traffic in each direction from I-90 to the P&R during peak travel times. One method of achieving this is known as the Reversible Lane Configuration which is expected to be in place for approximately 16 months. However, the contractor will have a financial incentive to reduce this duration to nine (9) months.

Prior to construction, the contractor will obtain a right-of-way use permit, which will include maintenance of traffic control plans. The details on the dates, times, and locations of the closures will be provided by Sound Transit in advance of the work. Signage and detours will help motorists get around construction.

In June 2017, full and partial weekend closures of Bellevue Way and the I-90 ramps began. Expect similar closures through November 2017.

The best way to stay informed about construction is to subscribe to Sound Transit East Link Construction Alerts.

Will closures of Bellevue Way be coordinated with any closures of I-90?

Yes. Both the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the Bellevue Transportation Department have reviewed the anticipated closures. Sound Transit and the Contractor will coordinate closely with WSDOT and the City prior to traffic changes that affect I-90 motorists.

Is there an HOV lane on Bellevue Way associated with the South Bellevue Segment?

Yes. A center lane HOV facility will be built by Sound Transit’s contractor from 112th Avenue SE (across from the Park and Ride) to I-90.

HOV access to I-90 will remain, but will be reconfigured at the main entrance to the South Bellevue station/park and ride.

What construction activities will occur on 112th Avenue SE?

Construction activities along 112th Avenue SE include, among other construction, guideway construction, utility relocation, temporary by-pass road construction, re-grading of 112th Ave. SE for the road-over-rail alignment, and sound wall installation.

Work is currently scheduled to begin on 112th Avenue SE in summer 2017. Construction is anticipated to happen at the same time of construction activities on Bellevue Way.

As early as July 24, 2017, SE 15th Street will be closed for approximately three years as crews prepare the area for construction of the road-over-rail crossing.

A temporary two-lane bypass road will be built on 112th Ave SE between SE 15th Street and SE 8th Street. The bypass road will be built and in place for approximately 18 to 20 months.

Will there be road and lane closures on 112th Avenue SE?

Yes. There are ongoing discussions between Sound Transit and the City of Bellevue in regards to the maintenance of traffic coordination for roadway work on 112th Avenue Southeast. More information will be known about the sequencing, schedule and duration of work along both Bellevue Way Southeast and 112th Ave Southeast once the contractor's schedule is finalized.

As early as July 24, 2017, SE 15th Street will be closed for approximately three years as crews prepare the area for construction of the road-over-rail crossing.

With the South Bellevue Park and Ride closed, where are there alternate commuter parking lots?

The South Bellevue Park and Ride closed May 30, 2017. Sound Transit has established (temporary) alternate commuter parking lots are various locations.

Commuters are asked not to park within Bellevue neighborhoods.

NEWLY ADDED: A new temporary park-and-ride lot at 1624 Bellevue Way SE opened in mid-August 2017. Details in Project Alert.

What changes area happening with the ST550 bus service?

The existing northbound bus stop on the east side of Bellevue Way SE will remain throughout East Link construction. A temporary bus stop has been installed on the west side of Bellevue Way to serve southbound buses will be located just north of 112th Ave SE.

The Mercer Island Park and Ride will be the only park and ride that will be served by ST550 when the South Bellevue Park and Ride is closed.

What other Sound Transit service changes will be made during the construction of the South Bellevue station?

ST550 buses will continue to serve Bellevue Way SE adjacent to the South Bellevue P&R throughout construction.

In preparation of East Link construction, ST555/556 will be re-routed off 112th Avenue SE (this change was part of King County Metro’s September 2016 Service Change).

Routes ST555/556 will continue to serve Bellevue Way SE and the Bellevue Transit Center. As part of the September 2016 Service Change, four (4) more trips were added to ST555/556 routes.

In March 2016, Sound Transit added 12 trips to the ST Express Route 554 with service from Issaquah to Seattle to operate 15-minute peak service. Also in March 2016, a new route, ST 541/Overlake was added.

ST 560 will bypass the South Bellevue Park and Ride and go directly to Bellevue Transit Center via I-405.

Paratransit service by King County Metro Access will be moved to the Eastgate P&R.

What King County Metro routes are affected due to East Link construction?

Metro Route 249.  The South Bellevue Park and Ride currently serves as a layover facility for route 249.  The South Bellevue Park and Ride will be closing during East Link construction for up to five (5) years beginning as early as Spring 2017. 

As of September 10, 2016 Route 249 became a clockwise-like loop route through Beaux Arts Village.  This route will also begin using a new southbound bus stop on Bellevue Way SE just north of 112th Avenue SE instead of stopping in the South Bellevue Park and Ride in the southbound direction.  

King County Metro Transit initiates services changes twice a year - in March and September.

What’s the timing and funding for the Surrey Downs Park Master Plan?

An update to the Surrey Downs Park Master Plan was approved by the City Council in Nov. 2015. The update was needed as a result of the East Link alignment being decided. Design will be complete and permit applications are expected in spring 2017, with construction expected (and funded at $7M) in 2018/19. Construction is partially funded with Park Levy funds specifically targeted for Surrey Downs Park.

What noise mitigation is happening for Surrey Downs Neighborhood as a result of East Link?

East Link construction noise mitigation: Temporary sound walls (20-foot in height) have been installed at the south tunnel portal (Main St/112th Avenue SE) to reduce noise from construction activities. Sound Transit plans to conduct construction activities during exempt hours; therefore construction mitigation is not required.  Homeowners identified by the City as being directly impacted by construction activities conducted beyond the normal construction hour limits will be offered a noise-reduction product by Sound Transit.

Train operation noise mitigation: Mitigation identified during the noise analysis for East Link recognized the need for noise mitigation along 112th Avenue SE adjacent to Surrey Downs Park. Mitigation includes sounds walls at the north and south ends of the park and landscaped terraces with low retaining walls through the parks center area. Once Sound Transit’s contractor releases its work schedule,  the timing of the demolition of residential structures along 112th will be better known as will the timing of the building the permanent sound walls.

When will the fences bordering Surrey Downs Park be installed?

As part of the additional noise analysis performed during the Park planning stages, it was noted that, while not required of Sound Transit, installation of fencing surrounding the Park could provide reduction in sound levels. The City’s Parks & Community Services Department is working to have a new boundary fence installed before construction starts in the Park.  Staff from the City’s Parks & Community Services has initiated conversations with the Surrey Downs Park Committee regarding outreach efforts and will be contacting Park neighbors regarding installation of fences bordering the park.

What work will Sound Transit do within Enatai Beach Park?

Sound Transit intends to use an area within Enatai Beach Park underneath the I-90 roadway to perform seismic retrofit work on the East Channel Bridge and stage construction equipment on the I-90 portion of the East Link light rail project.

The majority of work for East Link will occur underneath I-90, outside of the improved area of the Park, on freeway land owned by Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

Following Sound Transit's East Link work, King County Wastewater Division will be placing a new sewer pipeline within a similar area underneath I-90 with an underground pipe connection through Enatai Beach Park to an existing sewer line in Lake Washington that serves Bellevue households east of the Park.

What is the Bellevue Way Southeast Southbound HOV Lane project?

The City is exploring alternatives to widen Bellevue Way Southeast by approximately 20 feet on the west side of the roadway in order to add a new southbound high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane to increase capacity for traffic leaving downtown and to improve transit reliability and speed. The City is developing the alternatives by taking into consideration comments heard from individual briefings and open houses with the public.

The project team has been refining design options based on community feedback and working with the Bellevue Transportation Commission and City Council to consider a preferred design option and provide direction on next steps by the end of April 2017.

Visit the South Bellevue HOV Project webpage for more information.

How can I receive East Link construction updates?

Bellevue residents and businesses are encouraged to sign up to receive Sound Transit’s East Link Construction Alerts.

For specific construction questions or to request a presentation for your neighborhood, contact Sound Transit East Link Outreach (206-398-LINK or eastlink@soundtransit.org or Marie Jensen, Bellevue's East Link Outreach Lead (425-452-2064 or mjensen@bellevuewa.gov).

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