Skip to main content

You make this possible. Support our independent, nonprofit newsroom today.

Give Now

Eastside light rail expansion could be delayed after work along I-90 demolished

caption: In this photo taken July 28, 2014, the Olympic mountains and downtown Seattle stand behind as the I-90 floating bridge is in view from Mercer Island, Wash., bottom, across Lake Washington toward Seattle.
Enlarge Icon
In this photo taken July 28, 2014, the Olympic mountains and downtown Seattle stand behind as the I-90 floating bridge is in view from Mercer Island, Wash., bottom, across Lake Washington toward Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Sound Transit has announced that the light rail expansion project along I-90 may be delayed once again.

The stretch of light rail tracks being constructed around the floating I-90 bridge is at the center of the delay.

The track supports, called "plinths," are located along I-90 as it approaches the floating bridge. The concrete used in their construction was found to be faulty. Contractors could not salvage the supports, and just finished demolishing them.

“The unfortunate thing is that even the delayed date of spring of 2025, to open light rail to east King County, looks like it may slip even further. But there's no magic wand here," said King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci, chair of the Sound Transit Expansion Committee.

Balducci said it’s not clear who will take on any additional costs from the delay — the contractors or a government agency. She wants the Eastside expansion to launch in spring of 2024, before light rail over I-90 is finished. This would bring stations online as they finish construction.

Currently, the opening dates of Sound Transit's light rail expansion are:

  • East Link Starter Line: Spring 2024
  • Lynnwood Link: Summer/Fall 2024
  • East Link I-90 corridor: Spring 2025
  • Downtown Redmond Link: Spring 2025

A previous version of this story stated that the concrete portions of the tracks were located on the floating bridge. The faulty supports are located along I-90, approaching the floating bridge.

Why you can trust KUOW