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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Council Roundup: East Link recommendation updated

Also, design work for new street in Bel-Red funded

At its study session on Monday, a majority of the City Council agreed to send a letter to Sound Transit updating its preference for the future East Link light rail route south of downtown.

The route, called B7, runs parallel to Interstate 90 across the southern end of Mercer Slough Nature Park, then north along I-405 in the BNSF railroad right of way and 118th Avenue Southeast, east of Mercer Slough.

This B7 alternative differs from the B3 "side running" alternative the council recommended to Sound Transit's Board of Directors in February 2009. The B3 side running alternative runs north from I-90 on Bellevue Way and 112th Avenue Southeast, west of Mercer Slough.

In the year since the first recommendation, the council's makeup changed as a result of the November 2009 election.

East Link was approved by voters in 2008 as part of a regional ST2 grouping of transit projects. East Link includes the extension of light rail from Seattle, across Lake Washington on Interstate 90 to Bellevue, and continuing to the Overlake Transit Center in Redmond.

The long-range timeline calls for Sound Transit to complete an environmental review of all the East Link alternatives -- including those in the three Bellevue segments -- in late 2010, with a decision by the board on routes and station locations by early 2011. East Link design work is slated from 2011 to 2013; construction is scheduled to begin by 2014, and light rail service to Bellevue is projected to start in 2020.

For more information on East Link, view the Council Study Session item online at http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/City%20Council/PacketExtendedStudySession3-8-103c.pdf, or the Light Rail and Bellevue web page (http://www.bellevuewa.gov/light-rail.htm).

Feedback: Bernard van de Kamp, Regional Projects Manager, 425-452-6459 or bvandekamp@bellevuewa.gov 

Funding approved for work on new street in Bel-Red area
In other action related to the East Link light rail project, council members approved funding for early design work on a new Northeast 15th Street through the city's Bel-Red area.

The new roadway, from 116th to Northup Way, will be designed to accommodate the future East Link line, including a probable light rail station near 122nd Avenue Northeast and a second one near 130th Avenue Northeast. The council approved $1 million for evaluation, engineering and other work.
Long-range plans involving the Bel-Red corridor call for a new type of land use that integrates a variety of transportation options with mid-sized office buildings, multi-family housing and parks.

The Northeast 15th Street work is also part of a larger plan called the Mobility and Infrastructure Initiative. Along with improvements on Northeast Fourth Street, Northeast Sixth Street, 120th and 124th Avenue Northeast, the work is designed to accommodate recent growth downtown and anticipated growth in the Bel-Red and west Wilburton areas.

For more information on the Northeast 15th Street Multi-Modal Corridor, 116th Avenue Northeast to 124th Avenue Northeast project, view the Council Study Session item online at http://www.bellevuewa.gov/pdf/City%20Council/PacketExtendedStudySession3-8-103b.pdf.

Feedback: Rick Logwood, Capital Projects Manager, 425-452-6858 or rlogwood@bellevuewa.gov

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