Sound Transit light rail services return to normal after $2.8M construction project



(The Center Square) – Long delays on Sound Transit’s 1 Line have ended after more than three weeks of construction.

From Jan. 13 through Feb. 4, Sound Transit’s trains ran on a single track approximately every 26 to 30 minutes between the University of Washington and Stadium stations on weekdays, while shuttle buses between the Capitol Hill and SODO stations replaced light rail service on weekends.

Construction included replacing 500 feet of northbound track between University Street and Westlake. According to a press release, these rails were worn and would have eventually become a safety hazard if they were not replaced.

Crews also replaced 58 bond boxes, which provide signal connections to the tracks. Between 2009 and 2019, occasional signal failures and train delays resulted from the bond boxes getting damaged by buses over time.

During the service disruptions, the agency also repaired some sections of southbound rail and cleaned artwork.

Sound Transit Media Relations Manager John Gallagher told The Center Square that the contract for the work totaled approximately $2.8 million.

“I want to thank all of our passengers for their patience during this extended maintenance interruption,” Sound Transit Deputy CEO Russ Arnold said in a statement. “We know that this hasn’t been easy for them, but the end result is a smoother ride and a more reliable system.”

The four light rail stations in downtown Seattle are nearly 20 years older than the Link Light Rail System itself. The stations were built to accommodate both buses and trains when they opened for bus operations in 1990.

According to the agency, the four downtown stations require repairs that are more disruptive to Sound Transit services than more recently built stations.

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