First portion of Sound Transit Link 2 Line begins service

April 29, 2024
The 6.6-mile initial segment of the Link 2 Line includes eight stations, with service every 10 minutes, 16 hours a day, seven days a week.

The first portion of Sound Transit’s Link 2 Line began service on April 27. The 6.6-mile initial segment of the Link 2 Line includes eight stations in Bellevue and Redmond, Wash. The initial segment terminates at the South Bellevue Station at the west end and the Redmond Technology Station on the east. Two-car trains run every 10 minutes, 16 hours a day, seven days a week. 

The Link 1 Line will open in August and extend into Snohomish County to Lynnwood, and in spring 2025, the Link 2 Line is expected to add two more stations in Redmond.  

“This is a historic occasion for our region and the hundreds of thousands of people on the Eastside, who will be able to use Link light rail to quickly and safely get to school, work, games, concerts and more, without the hassles of traffic and parking,” said King County Executive and Sound Transit Board Chair Dow Constantine. “We are well on our way to a more connected Puget Sound region, with the 1 Line extension to Lynnwood opening in August and the 2 Line further expanding next year.” 

“We are about to board light rail on the Eastside for the first time thanks to the years of collaboration and hard work that our community members, project partners, Sound Transit staff and contractors have dedicated to make this moment possible,” said Sound Transit Interim CEO Goran Sparrman. “Congratulations and thanks to the many hundreds of people who have played such an important role in bringing the vision of a more connected Eastside to life.” 

Voters approved the East Link extension in 2008 as part of the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure. The project broke ground in 2016 and the one-third mile-long Downtown Bellevue Tunnel was completed in 2020. 

“This light-rail line is going to change lives,” said King County Councilmember and Sound Transit System Expansion Committee Chair Claudia Balducci. “It will connect people to education, jobs, recreation and each other, helping expand access to opportunity across our region. For me, this is the culmination of years and years of work by many people and a realization of the promise we made to voters in 2008. For the Eastside, it’s the beginning of an incredible transformation that will benefit the community for decades to come.”  

In August 2023, the Sound Transit Board authorized the opening of the initial segment of the 2 Line on the Eastside while construction to correct quality issues on the I-90 segment continues. Since February, trains have been running simulated service between South Bellevue and Redmond Technology Station, during which all Link trains run a normal schedule without passengers. 

Sound Transit notes multiple contractors worked on the segment of the 2 Line, including: 

  • Shimmick/Parsons Joint Venture, who was the contractor for the South Bellevue Segment 
  •  The Downtown Bellevue Tunnel was constructed by Guy F. Atkinson Construction, LLC. 
  • Stacy and Witbeck/Atkinson, a joint venture, completed the segment between Downtown Bellevue and the Spring District 
  • Max J. Kuney Company was the contractor for the BelRed segment 
  •  The contractor for the Redmond segment was Kiewit-Hoffman East Link Constructors, a joint venture between Kiewit Infrastructure West Co and Hoffman Construction Company of Washington.
  • Mass Electric was the contractor for systems. 

HNTB, a leading infrastructure solutions firm, has led the H-J-H Final Design Partners joint venture in providing final design services on the Link 2 Line since September 2012. HNTB brought together a large multidisciplinary team of approximately 150 designers, engineers and other professionals from 43 firms to deliver the work. 

“We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Sound Transit for successfully leading the East Link Starter Line to completion,” said Kris Agers, HNTB office leader for the region and senior vice president. “This project is another step toward enhancing connectivity for our growing and vibrant region. As a member of the Downtown Bellevue community, HNTB is excited to celebrate the opening and our successful partnership with Sound Transit." 

The remainder of the 2 Line, which connects the east side to Seattle, is in progress and is expected to open in 2025. When complete, the entire 2 Line will stretch more than 14 miles and encompass 10 stations, from Seattle’s International District, across I-90 through Mercer Island, through Downtown Bellevue to Redmond Technology Station.  

About the Author

Brandon Lewis | Associate Editor

Brandon Lewis is a recent graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lewis is a former freelance editorial assistant at Vehicle Service in Endeavor Business Media’s Vehicle Repair Group. Lewis brings his knowledge of web managing, copyediting and SEO practices to Mass Transit Magazine as an associate editor.