On Monday, the Bellevue City Council approved starting negotiations with Sound Transit for how the entities will pay for the downtown East Link tunnel and lessen the impact for the communities near the light rail line.
The term sheet outlines what the two will negotiate before signing a binding agreement in October. The tunnel could add up to $276 million to the East Link project according to Sound Transit.
If Sound Transit and Bellevue do not come to an agreement over how to pay for the downtown tunnel and how to lessen the impact of the East Link light rail line on Bellevue Way Southeast and 112th Avenue Southeast, then Sound Transit may reconsider the tunnel and build the light rail line on the downtown street level.
Among the items on the term sheet are:
- Bellevue and Sound Transit agree not to sue each other before Oct. 25, which is the expected deadline to reach the binding agreement.
- The city of Bellevue would lower the cost of the tunnel by $160 million (in 2010 dollars) through through a combination of tax breaks, property acquisition and other actions, including paying for some of the costs.
- Sound Transit will consider building the line above or below traffic on 112th Avenue Northeast to avoid traffic conflicts and lessen the noise from warning bells.
- Sound Transit will consider adding landscaping between the Surrey Downs neighborhood and Main Street.
- Sound Transit will consider moving the light rail line from the east side of 112th Avenue to the west side.
- Sound Transit will consider funding the portion of the city of Bellevue's project* to add an additional southbound lane on Bellevue Way SE between 112th Avenue SE as described in the final EIS as mitigation for the expansion of the South Bellevue park-and-ride.
Download the details of the term sheet by clicking on the PDF above or clicking here to get it directly from the City of Bellevue website.
*This story was edited to clarify that Bellevue is in charge of the project an that Sound Transit will consider paying a portion for as mitigation for the expansion of the park and ride.