Sound Transit’s newest Link light rail extension will open on Saturday, September 24th, just thirty-one days from now, CEO Peter Rogoff and Board Chair Dow Constantine announced at a press conference this morning.
“Opening the Angle Lake Station marks another milestone in building a vibrant, regional light rail system,” said Constantine. “Trains running every six minutes will give thousands of riders fast, reliable service to jobs, schools, and Huskies, Seahawks, Sounders and Mariners games.”
The Angle Lake Station is located at South 200th Street and 28th Avenue, a little more than one and a half miles south of the SeaTac/Airport Station. It is an elevated station, gracefully looming above the intersection. From the station platform, riders will be treated to excellent views of Mount Rainier on clear days.
What’s particularly notable about the station is that it has been designed as a park and ride, with a massive 1,050 stall parking garage and an additional seventy spaces in a surface lot. There’s also dedicated space for vanpools to park and bicycle lockers for bicyclists, plus a passenger pickup and dropoff area.
The SeaTac/Airport Station, which has been the southern terminus of the line since December of 2009, when Airport Link opened, does not have the capacity for vans, cars, or bikes that Angle Lake will offer. It will be interesting to see if Sound Transit’s critics will give it any credit for having accelerated development and construction of a new southern terminus for Link that has ample parking and bicycle storage.
For people living in the area, the Angle Lake Station will provide a convenient connection to many destinations: Safeco Field, CenturyLink Field, Husky Stadium, the UW Medical Center, Westlake Center, the International District, Columbia City, bars and nightclubs on Capitol Hill, and countless other places within walking distance of the other stations served by Central Link.
Anticipated travel times, courtesy of Sound Transit:
- To SeaTac Airport: Four minutes
- To Westlake Center: Forty-one minutes
- To UW Station at Husky Stadium: Forty-eight minutes
By 2018, the station is forecast to have 5,400 boardings every weekday.
The artwork at the station is fabulous. The theme for the art is elements in motion, and one of the centerpieces is Laura Haddad’s “Cloud”.
“The sculpture, installed on the elevated platform straddling South 200th Street, consists of 6,000 hanging disks that change appearance in response to fluctuations in light, weather, or at the approach of a train,” noted Sound Transit’s press team in a news release sent to NPI and other media outlets.
Angle Lake Link cost $383 million to build. The project, part of the Sound Transit 2 package approved in 2008, is $40 million under budget and scheduled to open four years earlier than planned — a remarkable accomplishment, aided by federal funding secured by Washington’s senior United States Senator, Patty Murray.
(Those with long memories will recall that a light rail station in this area was promised as part of the Sound Move plan in 1996. That original plan had to scrapped because it was unrealistic. However, Sound Transit has most certainly kept its promise to get the station built as part of ST2.)
Sound Transit’s recent track record (no pun intended) shows it is capable of delivering high quality transit expansion projects on time or ahead of schedule and under budget. The agency is giving voters the opportunity this autumn to choose whether to expand Link further north, south, and east with Sound Transit 3, an ambitious package that would also add more express bus and commuter rail service. NPI strongly supports Sound Transit 3 and urges a “yes” vote.
We’ve published a number of high quality snaps showing today’s press event and the new station to NPI’s In Brief. Take a look and enjoy the pictures.
After Angle Lake Link opens, it will many years before we are able to celebrate another light rail station opening, as U District, Roosevelt, and Northgate aren’t due to be completed until 2021. So, railfans, be sure to show up to enjoy the festivities as new light rail service comes online next month!