More chances to hear about Sound Transit East Link EIS

Islanders who were unable to attend the Sound Transit open house on Jan. 27 on Mercer Island have a couple more chances to find out more about the project.

Sound Transit will hold a public meeting in Bellevue from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 28, at Bellevue High School, 10416 Wolverine Way. A second meeting is Thursday, Jan. 29, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

The Bellevue City Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, Feb. 2, to give people another chance to comment on where they think Sound Transit’s new East Link light rail line should be located in Bellevue, how it should look and where stations should be sited.

The hearing will start at 8 p.m. in the council chambers at Bellevue City Hall, 450 110th Ave. N.E.

Sound Transit released a draft environmental impact statement for East Link on Dec. 12, 2008, and set a 75-day comment period. The document is a detailed study of the project and potential routes in Bellevue. The deadline to comment is Feb. 25.

The Bellevue City Council plans to make its final decision on a preferred route for the rail line at its Feb. 23 meeting. The route across Mercer Island and the station here are already set. Route recommendations will be sent to Sound Transit, along with comments from the public hearing and a detailed analysis of the draft EIS by city staff.

Sound Transit’s Board of Directors is expected to cast its vote on a preferred route in April. The board’s final vote on a preferred route will come after the final Environmental Impact Statement is completed, probably in late 2010.

East Link is part of a package of transit improvements passed by voters last November. The project includes the extension of light rail across Lake Washington, through Bellevue, and on to the Overlake Transit Center in Redmond.

The draft EIS is available online at the Sound Transit Web site, Printed copies are available to read at the Mercer Island Library, Bellevue Regional Library, Newport Way Library, Lake Hills Library and the Library Connection at Crossroads. People also may comment by sending e-mails to

Construction of East Link is projected to begin in 2013 and light rail service in downtown Bellevue is anticipated in 2020. Service to Overlake Transit Center is expected to begin in 2021.

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