The City of Redmond and Sound Transit have come to a funding agreement over how to build a new biking and walking bridge over SR 520 as part of the East Link light rail station at Overlake Village.
The bridge could cut a mile out of walking and biking trips for commuters and nearby residents when it opens in 2020, three years before the light rail station begins service.
As part of the agreement, Redmond will pay Sound Transit $19.8 million to build the project, which also includes a pricey stormwater retention vault. As we reported previously, the funding gap for the bridge alone after federal grants was about $7 million.
The Overlake Village bridge will be just one of the new biking and walking connections over SR 520 as part of the East Link project. Microsoft has pledged $33.3 million for a vital biking and walking bridge near Overlake Transit Center and the tech giant’s campus (note that Overlake Transit Center and Overlake Village are two different stops on the East Link line).
Details on the agreement, from a joint press release:
Following approval by the Redmond City Council last week, the Sound Transit Board today approved a partnership agreement for constructing a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge across SR-520 and a City stormwater infiltration vault.
The new bridge will connect the Overlake Village light rail station with the regional trail on the west side of SR 520, reducing walking and bicycling distances between the station and employment and residential areas by up to a mile. The regional stormwater vault, which Sound Transit will also use, will reduce damaging flows to streams and allow for redevelopment in the neighborhood.
“Because of this partnership, the bridge and vault will be integrated seamlessly into the Overlake Village Station,” said Redmond Mayor and Sound Transit Board Member John Marchione. “These projects will increase light rail ridership and support the ongoing transformation of Overlake Village into a vibrant and transit-supportive urban center.”
“With the new bridge, commuters will save up to one mile in walking or biking to nearby jobs and homes,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Thanks to the partnership of the city of Redmond we are improving access to the East Link light rail extension that opens in 2023.”
Under the agreement Sound Transit will construct the bridge and vault. The City of Redmond will pay Sound Transit $19,880,000 for the design and construction of the facilities and subject to final acceptance will own, operate, and maintain them. The bridge will open in 2020.
The City has received a $1.6 million Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement grant to help pay for the engineering and design of the Overlake Village Bridge Project, as well as a $5 million Transportation Alternatives Program grant toward construction of the bridge.
The agreement follows an earlier agreement between Sound Transit, the City of Redmond and Microsoft Corporation for another pedestrian and bicycle bridge across SR 520 further east at Overlake Transit Center. Supported with $33.3 million in Microsoft funding and planned to open in 2020, the bridge will make the nearby Link light rail station more useful for transit riders, Microsoft employees and visitors and the general public. The City will also own and maintain this structure.
By 2030, East Link is projected to carry about 50,000 riders each weekday. As the region’s population continues growing, East Link will provide expanded transportation capacity to the I-90 corridor. Increases in the length and frequency of trains over time offer the capacity to carry from 8,000 to 12,000 people per hour in each direction, more than doubling the person-carrying capacity of I-90.