Light rail work along SR 520 ramps up

By Miki Mullor

Construction activities include tree removal, demolition, utility relocation

Travelers along SR 520 near Redmond will see more activity as work intensifies in extending light rail to Redmond, according to Sound Transit. The 3.4-mile Downtown Redmond Link Extension will extend the line from the Microsoft Campus with two stations, serving southeast Redmond at Marymoor Park, and the downtown residential and retail core.

Work, including structure demolition, utility relocation and removal of existing trees, will take place primarily along SR 520. Light rail and station construction will start next year.

3,000 Trees to be removed

Sound Transit will replant more than 12,000 trees to replace approximately 3,000 trees crews must remove for construction. Tree replacement locations include station areas, along streets in the City of Redmond, the Redmond Central Connector trail corridor, Bear Creek, King County wetland and stream areas, Marymoor Park, and along the SR 520 corridor.

Restoration of 500 feet of Bear Creek

As part of the project, Sound Transit will restore more than 500 feet of Bear Creek and its flood plain. Restoration will include:

  • Removing an old creosote-treated railroad trestle, rubble and culverts.
  • Widening the channel and flood plain.
  • Removing fill and rubble to improve connectivity with the creek and its flood plain.
  • Improving fish and wildlife habitat by placing large woody material in the stream channel and flood plain.
  • Enhancing off-channel habitat for juvenile salmonids.
  • Enhancing more than four acres of riparian buffer through the removal of invasive vegetation and replanting native trees and shrubs.

18 Minutes to Bellevue, 45 Minutes to Downtown Seattle

Light Rail Redmond extension

Service on the Downtown Redmond Link Extension begins in 2024, following the 2023 opening of light rail between downtown Seattle and Redmond’s Microsoft Campus area. The trip from downtown Redmond to Westlake will take 45 minutes, and the trip between downtown Redmond and Bellevue downtown will take just 18 minutes, with service every six minutes during peak hours.

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