Link light rail maintenance, construction to start next month; riders should prepare for service disruptions

Link riders will experience service disruptions starting next month as Sound Transit crews begin maintenance and construction for expanding light rail operations. 

Transportation officials said the "Future Ready" project will prepare for the addition of 33 miles of the light rail system within the next three years. 

The work will require riders to plan ahead for longer travel times and be prepared for "intermittent periods of travel impacts" from July through early 2023. 

"We need to ensure that our system is ready for the major expansions ahead," said Sound Transit Interim CEO Brooke Belman. "These projects will impact far fewer riders now than if we delayed them 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. The end result will be a safe and improved system ready for our next phase of growth."

Sound Transit listed the important dates and details of work being done for the first two phases: 

July 11 to July 24 and Aug. 22 to Sept. 4

In order to replace tile at the Columbia City Station, train frequencies will be reduced to 20 minutes in each direction during all operating hours during the closure of one track, requiring all trains to use a single track between Mount Baker and Tukwila.

Oct. 21 to Sunday, Oct. 23 and Nov. 11 to Sunday, Nov. 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 Q3 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 Q4 2022

Trains will be single tracked through the DSTT and train frequencies will be reduced to 20 minutes.

Q1 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.

Riders who want to stay informed about upcoming service changes, can sign up for Sound Transit’s rider alerts

As the Future Ready project is underway, Sound Transit said it will continue work on replacing all escalators and elevators in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel.