Sound Transit’s East Link – South Bellevue to Redmond corridor project comprises 7 miles of LRT, with 8 total stations including at-grade, elevated, and one underground station. Scheduled to come online in 2023, this system will extend the reach of the Sound Transit system across Lake Washington, through the rapidly growing city of Bellevue, and into the high-tech hub of Redmond.
LMN is responsible for the design of 3 stations. LMN’s stations include one at-grade, one in a trench, and the system’s only underground station at the Bellevue Transit Center. This cut-and-cover station and associated tunnel have been the focus of intensive design explorations during Early Work, intended to arrive at a station design concept that balances optimal location and function with cost, civic impacts and a complex approval process. Several underground configurations are under study, including a stacked-tunnel concept that would decrease the station width and potentially reduce utility impacts. Extensive fiber-optic networks serving Bellevue’s tech sector complicate excavation within the downtown core. In all of these studies, LMN’s experience with complex underground station design is critical to understanding the issues at stake.
The 120th Street Station is a semi-underground station in a retained-cut trench open to the sky. In addition to solving the unique design challenges of this station type, LMN is involved in the coordination of substantial transit-oriented development adjacent to the station site.
The Overlake Transit Center Station is an at-grade station located within an existing transit center that serves both public transit and Microsoft’s shuttle bus fleet. This station includes an above-grade parking structure as part of the design, as well as a pedestrian bridge serving Microsoft’s Main and West campuses, also to be designed by LMN. The station design encompasses a complete redesign of the transit center. While this station lacks the technical complexity of the underground station, the multitude of components and stakeholders at the Overlake Transit Center project still pose a unique set of issues for the design team.
In addition to the design of three stations and oversight of a fourth, LMN has ultimate design authority over the stations, guideways, and ancillary structures system-wide. LMN Partner Mark Reddington is responsible for seeing to the system-wide coordination of all design elements to ensure that the project forms a cohesive and unified architectural and urban design statement.