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Light rail station open house is June 6 on Mercer Island

An artist’s rendering of what a portal to the East Link light rail station at Mercer Island at 80th Avenue S.E. and I-90 might look like. The design for the rail station, which will be at freeway level, is still under review. - Contributed by Sound Transit
An artist’s rendering of what a portal to the East Link light rail station at Mercer Island at 80th Avenue S.E. and I-90 might look like. The design for the rail station, which will be at freeway level, is still under review.
— image credit: Contributed by Sound Transit

Community members are encouraged to take part in the final design process for the Sound Transit East Link light rail station at North Mercer Way and 80th Avenue S.E. The station is part of the project that will extend light rail service from Seattle to Mercer Island, Bellevue, Overlake and Redmond.

Sound Transit is holding an open house between 5 and 7 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, June 6, at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center. Sound Transit officials will make a brief presentation at 5:30 p.m. and will be available to answer questions. Participants can speak with representatives or leave written comments.

The East Link station serving Mercer Island will be located in the center roadway of I-90. East Link riders will enter the station at 77th Avenue Southeast and 80th Avenue Southeast, in close proximity to the Mercer Island Park-and-Ride lot. The station, Sound Transit officials said, “is being designed to advance the City of Mercer Island’s goals of promoting mixed-use development in its Town Center. “

At the open house, Sound Transit will also discuss the process to establish a permanent station name.

Construction on the East Link project is to begin in 2015, with work on I-90 starting approximately one year later. Under a partnership between the state and Sound Transit, new 24-hour HOV lanes in both directions across Lake Washington on I-90 will be completed before the center roadway is closed for light rail construction.

“Now that we’re in the final design process, community members on Mercer Island and along the entire East Link alignment have a chance to help shape station designs,” said Sound Transit spokesman Geoff Patrick. station designs,” said Sound Transit spokesman Geoff Patrick.

East Link is designed to give Island residents fast and reliable access to destinations along a regional light rail system stretching approximately 50 miles. Islanders will reach downtown Seattle or downtown Bellevue in approximately 12 minutes and the University of Washington in 20 minutes.

As the region’s population continues to grow, East Link will provide expanded transportation capacity to the I-90 corridor. Increases in the length and frequency of trains over time offer the capacity to carry from 9,000 to 12,000 people per hour in each direction,.

By 2030, East Link is projected to carry about 50,000 riders each weekday.

By the numbers

Sound Transit’s East Link light rail will be:

• Length: 14 miles

• Budget: $2.8 billion

The trains will serve: Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue, Bel-Red and Overlake in Redmond.

• Status: Final Design

• Start of Service: 2023

Sound Transit’s next project is the I-90 Two-Way Transit.

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