The public can review and discuss updated designs and cost-saving ideas for the East Link light rail project at three different drop-in sessions this week, according to the city of Bellevue and Sound Transit officials.
The three sessions will focus on three different areas of the line: Bellevue Way, 112th Avenue Southeast, and Downtown Bellevue.
According to the city, the public feedback from the sessions will help narrow down a list of cost-savings ideas that have been studied in preparation for a final decision on the options in spring 2013.
Information and drawings will be available and Sound Transit has posted updated documents on its latest options for saving money.
Among the options are shifting the proposed Downtown station from a location starting at Northeast Fourth Street and 110th Avenue Northeast to one along Notheast Sixth Street (which would save $23 million to $29 million, but would change access to the system), adding an HOV lane to Bellevue Way and building retaining walls and other sound-proofing measures to shield noise from houses in the Enatai neighborhood ($7 million to $11 million in savings, but would put the train on the surface instead of a trench), and change traffic access to the Surrey Downs neighborhood and changing the elevation of the train along 112th Avenue Southeast (saving $7 million to $16 million).
The three sessions will discuss ideas for cost savings on the $2.5 billion project to connect Bellevue and the Eastside to Sound Transit's Link light rail system. Construction is slated for 2015-22 and service is expected to begin by 2023, according to Sound Transit.
Sound Transit and the City of Bellevue are looking for Bellevue. An agreement between the agency and the city means that Bellevue will cover $100 million of that cost with tax breaks, property acquisition and other actions. The city also plans to cover $60 million of the cost of the tunnel with cash -- unless cost savings can be found in the line through Bellevue.
However, city officials told Sound Transit at a presentation in April that cost savings are secondary to the city's concerns. The primary concern is affecting the quality of life in the neighborhoods that will be affected by the new trains.
According to the city, feedback from the sessions will help narrow down a list of cost-savings ideas that have been studied in preparation for a final decision on the options in spring 2013. Information and drawings will be available.
If you go
- Bellevue Way ideas: Tuesday, Oct. 2, 5 to 7 p.m., New Hope International Church, 10808 SE 28th St.;
- 112th Avenue Southeast ideas: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 5 to 7 p.m., Hilton Hotel, 300 112th Ave. SE; and
- Downtown Bellevue ideas: Thursday, Oct. 4, 4 to 6 p.m., City Hall, 450 110th Ave. NE.