Bellevue council chooses light rail route along Bellevue Way
The Bellevue City Council voted Monday night to recommend a Light Rail route along central Bellevue Way.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Bellevue City Council decided Monday night to recommend a Light Rail route that would include a station and route on busy Bellevue Way.
The council voted 4-3 for a modified route with trains that would run along the east side of Bellevue Way Southeast and 112th Avenue Southeast. The route would turn near Southeast 8th Street and link up with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway line near the Wilburton Park & Ride before plunging into a tunnel and heading toward downtown Bellevue. The route includes a major expansion of the South Bellevue Park & Ride.
South Bellevue residents have been fighting to keep the route away from central Bellevue Way. They wanted a route that would have instead run on I-90 until it reached the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway line adjacent to I-405. From there, the trains would run up 118th Avenue Southeast.
But the location — and construction — of a station on 118th Avenue Southeast was likely to cause tremendous congestion, said Mayor Grant Degginger. There are more ways to get around traffic problems on Bellevue Way, he said.
"It was a very tough call," said Degginger. "Both of them had problems. Both of them had challenges."
The council also agreed upon Light Rail routes for downtown Bellevue and the Bel Red corridor. The recommended downtown line includes a tunnel that would snake under Main Street, turn up 106th Avenue Northeast and stop at the Bellevue Transit Center. From there, the line would cross I-405 and move through Bel Red to Overlake.
The council's recommendation is headed to the Sound Transit board, which has the final say. The board is expected to vote on a preferred alignment in April.
Nicole Tsong: 206-464-2150 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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