The options for the Ballard light rail route have been slightly narrowed down, thanks to recent town halls and public feedback.
There were a handful of options presented by Sound Transit, with seven different alignment and Ship Canal crossing proposals being considered. After compiling feedback, the Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) has chosen to advance the following proposals:
Central Interbay/ Fixed Bridge/14th This proposal was for a high-level fixed bridge crossing Salmon Bay east of the Ballard Bridge, with an elevated station straddling 14th Ave NW and NW Market St. Feedback indicated that there’s some support for a fixed bridge and a Ballard station with fewer property effects. Going forward, they’ll explore Ballard station access at 15th Ave NW.
Armory Way/Tunnel/14th This proposal includes a tunnel crossing under Salmon Bay, and a tunnel station straddling 14th Avenue NW and NW Market Street. Feedback indicated general support for a cost-effective tunnel crossing.
Central Interbay/Tunnel/15th This proposal also includes the tunnel crossing under Salmon Bay, and a tunnel station straddling the east side of 15th Avenue NW and NW Market Street. There is some concern that this tunnel could cost more than the Armory Way/Tunnel/14th proposal.
There were concerns about the effects of another bridge near Fishermen’s Terminal — the Port of Seattle has publicly opposed a movable bridge near the terminal because it “could impede maritime mobility”, according to a letter addressed to elected officials from Port of Seattle Executive Director Stephen Metruck and Northwest Seaport Alliance CEO John Wolfe, as reported in the Seattle Transit Blog. Alternatively, a fixed bridge south of Ballard bridge or tunnel under Salmon Bay are more likely options.
For the Ballard station, proposals for 17th are no longer recommended, with a clear preference for a 15th Ave NW station.
For more about the Ballard light rail extension project and to stay updated on the progress, click here.
Thanks, Carson, for the tip!