Safety improvements project set for 2022 near East Link rail station

The Washington State Department of Transporation will soon be reviewing and approving the design for a city project featuring safety improvements near the new Sound Transit East Link rail station. When the city receives the green light, construction will begin in the summer/fall of 2022.

Estimated budget on the project sits at $100,000 in 2021 and $600,000 in 2022, according to the city’s web site.

City staff is presently finalizing a design for improvements at the intersection of Sunset Highway and 77th Avenue Southeast to feature a raised intersection with enhanced pedestrian and bicycle crossings, including two flashing pedestrian systems at the station’s north and south crossings at 77th. Improving vehicle circulation is another key aspect of the project.

“This intersection is directly adjacent to the East Link station access and is expected to experience an increase in pedestrian and bicycle traffic, as well as vehicle traffic once the station opens,” reads the city’s site, which adds that Aubrey Davis Park and the Mountains to Sound Greenway trail system are adjacent to Sunset and the station.

In her report at the Oct. 5 city council meeting, City Manager Jessi Bon said the city will be informing residents along the way, including potential traffic impacts.

East Link is scheduled to be up and running in 2023 and will feature 10 stations covering 14 miles. Riders will be able to travel from Mercer Island to the University of Washington in 20 minutes.