I-5 bus station ready in Mountlake Terrace

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Life will soon be a little easier for commuters on buses that stop at the park-and-ride lot in town.

Sound Transit dedicated its new $35.4 million bus station in the I-5 median on Thursday.

Starting Sunday, Sound Transit and Community Transit buses will be able to exit directly from I-5 to the station and re-enter I-5 just as quickly.

They’ll no longer have to wend through Mountlake Terrace to or from the park-and-ride lot at 236th Street SW and I-5. Freeway access is limited at 236th Street with buses and other traffic only able to get off I-5 from 236th going northbound or get on I-5 from 236th going southbound.

With the new station, stops in Mountlake Terrace will be much shorter, both for those who get on and off buses there and for those heading to other destinations. Sound Transit will add a route and Community Transit will adjust its service to Mountlake Terrace, adding some stops and discontinuing two routes, 408 and 477.

Altogether, two Sound Transit routes and three Community Transit commuter routes will use the new station, with Sound Transit adding a third in June. Four other Community Transit routes and one King County Metro route will serve the park-and-ride lot that links to the station.

A covered, concrete footbridge spans the northbound lanes of I-5 to connect the station to the park-and-ride lot’s garage, which opened two years ago.

Work on the freeway station began in May 2009. Features include bus bays for northbound and southbound routes, weather-protected passenger platforms, benches and decorated glass walls to muffle freeway noise.

The station is funded with $22.6 million from Sound Transit sales taxes; $7.7 million in federal funds, including $4.6 million in federal economic stimulus money; and $5 million from the state.

The station also can be used as a future light-rail stop. Sound Transit’s latest plans call for light rail to be extended to Lynnwood by 2023.

Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; sheets@heraldnet.com.

Find out more

For more information on the station and changes to bus service go to www.soundtransit.org/x1874.xml or www.communitytransit.org/News/New.cfm?id=1438.

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