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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Council Roundup: East Link again in council's sights

City Council members Monday turned their attention once again to recent developments related to East Link, the Sound Transit project that will extend light rail from Seattle, across Lake Washington, through Bellevue, to the Overlake area of Redmond.

Last week, Bellevue Mayor Grant Degginger and Deputy Mayor Claudia Balducci appeared before the Sound Transit Board of Directors to present the city's preferred route for East Link segments passing through Bellevue.

Following release of a draft environmental impact statement, the Bellevue Council in February strongly recommended a route that includes a downtown tunnel, deemed an absolute necessity to avoid creating congestion on city streets and a chokepoint for the future light rail system.

For another part of the Bellevue segment, the council recommended a hybrid route, a variation on alignments included in the environmental review. It would run from I-90 north along the east side of Bellevue Way, along the east side of 112th Avenue to about Southeast Eighth Street, veering northeast to 114th Avenue, then north to Main Street. From downtown to Overlake, the Council supports a route that runs northeast through the Bel-Red corridor, traveling at-grade and elevated along a newly created Northeast 16th Street.

Sound Transit Board members are scheduled to review all of the route alternatives considered for East Link at their next meeting on April 23. On May 14, the Board is expected to choose its preferred alternatives for further study in a final environmental analysis.

From May to December, Sound Transit will refine the designs of its preferred alternatives, and by summer 2010 the alignment will reach a 30 percent level of design. The agency will then select its ultimate route preference after release of a final environmental study. Light rail service to downtown Bellevue is projected to begin in 2020.

Bellevue offers details about its involvement with the East Link project in the light rail section of its site. Sound Transit also offers additional information about the entire project.

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

The Council Agendas and Council Minutes pages offer complete information regarding Council meetings.

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