This is What Light Rail in Mountlake Terrace Looks Like

Sound Transit Has released the Final Environmental Impact Study for the Lynnwood Link light rail line from Northgate to Lynnwood. Included in the EIS are conceptual drawings and renderings of what the light rail line could look like through Mountlake Terrace. As you look through the photos there are several alternatives shown. The Preferred Alternative has the light rail line running on the east side of I-5, crossing north over 236th through the Transit Center east of the existing parking garage, and then crossing west over I-5 north of the Transit Center. From there it would continue north on the west side of I-5 with an optional station at 220th and 200-car surface lot on the former Melody Hill site, and on toward Lynnwood. Alternative B1 is similar to the Preferred Alternative until north of the Transit Center. From there, it would continue north on an elevated guideway, with a short section cut into the hillside north of the transit center. It would then cross over the northbound lanes of I-5, enter the freeway median, and drop to at-grade. The alignment would continue in the median of I-5 generally at the level of the southbound I-5 lanes, north to approximately 212th Street SW.

This alternative has an optional four-level parking garage on the existing Mountlake Terrace Transit Center surface lot to the east of the current garage, adding 280 stalls to the current 880.

Alternative B2A has the same alignment as the Preferred Alternative but would have a 220th Street SW Station above the street, with a 200-stall parking garage to the north. It would require realigning the I-5 on-ramp and off-ramp for 220th Street SW.

Alternative 4 would transition to cross over the northbound I-5 lanes to the I-5 median south of 236th and descend to cross under the 236th Street SW overpass and connect to the existing Mountlake Terrace Freeway Station, which would be extended to the north, retrofitted to accommodate light rail trains, and closed to bus use. This side platform station would have a south entrance served by the existing pedestrian bridge. A new north entry to the station and pedestrian bridge would connect to the east, crossing over northbound lanes of I-5, with a second tower and pedestrian bridge rising in elevation to connect to 232nd Street SW. The other features of the existing transit center and its 880 parking spaces would be the same as today. The alignment would continue at-grade in the I-5 median to approximately 212th Street SW, similar to Alternative B1.

In this first view, looking northbound on I-5 from about 240th, you can see the Preferred Alternative, Alternative B1, and Alternative B2A have the elevated tracks running on the east side of the freeway adjacent to the future Gateway development. Alternative B4 has the tracks crossing the northbound I-5 lanes just south of 236th and into the center median.


This next view is looking east from the 236th bridge over I-5. The Preferred Alternative, Alternative B1, and Alternative B2A all show the elevated tracks crossing over 236th and to an elevated station just east of the existing parking garage at the Transit Center.


Looking north from about 232nd, the Preferred Alternative and Alternative B2A show the elevated tracks crossing all lanes of I-5 and continuing north up the west side of I-5. Alternative B1 has the tracks crossing only the NB lanes and running north up the center median. Alternative B4 has the 236th station in the center median with a new pedestrian overpass over the northbound I-5 lanes.


This next view is looking south from 230th, showing the same 3 scenarios as the previous view.


A a couple more of the Preferred Alternative/Alternative B2A looking south from 230th.


There are four conceptual alternatives for the 236th station presented in the EIS. Three of them have the station east of the parking garage straddling 236th (Preferred Alternative/B1/B2A), the fourth (B4) has the station in the I-5 center median north of the existing flyer station. One of the options for the station straddling 236th is to have a second entrance that allows access to the station from what would be closer to the future Gateway development. The other option is replace the existing surface parking lot with a 500-car garage.


Here are two options for the potential 220th St SW station. One has 200-car surface parking lot on the former Melody Hill site accessible from 220th, the other has a 200-car parking garage north of 220th accessible both from 220th and 60th Ave W behind City Hall.


If you want to read more, the Final EIS is an interesting read and there are many more conceptual drawings than what I have shown here.

UPDATE 4/3/2015:

In response to a comment below, here are two sections of the 236th station that show the preferred alternative, without a pedestrian connection near the Gateway project, and an option with the connection. The connection looks like a staircase and elevator to get up from the Gateway elevation of 372' to the plaza elevation (approximate elevation of 236th roadway) of 400'. It seems like it could be possible to add the lower pedestrian access later on, which was the commenters question. Though it would make sense to use a single elevator shaft to get from the Gateway elevation (372') all the way up to the platform elevation of 433'. The addition of this pedestrian access point would make it much easier for pedestrians coming from the Gateway development to access the station. The alternative would be  going up the future Gateway Boulevard, which will likely be quite steep.

The preferred alternative

Option with Gateway pedestrian connection

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