Sound Transit explores siting rail yard in Lynnwood

LYNNWOOD — A light-rail maintenance yard that Sound Transit might build near a residential neighborhood here is the focus of a city workshop Saturday.

From 10 to 11:45 a.m., people can learn more about Sound Transit’s draft environmental studies on where to put the facility. The meeting spot is the Cedar Valley Grange Hall, 20526 52nd Ave. W.

The prospect of hosting a light-rail facility between I-5 and 52nd Avenue West isn’t popular in Lynnwood. The City Council last year passed a resolution asking Sound Transit to remove the site from consideration. The transit agency also is exploring three locations between downtown Bellevue and Redmond.

The Sound Transit Board hopes to pick a preferred spot this summer.

“This summer may not be the final decision for where the site’s going to be,” said Bruce Gray, a spokesman for the agency.

A clearer picture should emerge once Sound Transit completes a final environmental study on the preferred site, likely next year.

The agency hopes to build the maintenance yard by 2020, ahead of rail-line expansions to the north and east. That’s when the agency expects to max out its maintenance facility in Seattle with space for 104 light-rail cars, Gray said.

The new facility needs to be up to 25 acres. It’s estimated to cost up to $415 million.

A draft environmental impact statement available online analyzes noise and vibration at the potential locations. It also explores visual and economic impacts. People can comment on it through June 23.

If the agency were to select the Lynnwood site, it would need to build a second, smaller facility in the Eastside suburbs, Gray said. That’s because of space limitations that don’t apply at the Eastside locations.

The Edmonds School District owns most of the land near 204th Street SW that the transit agency has studied for the maintenance yard. The district has other plans for its land.

Sound Transit’s light-rail system is on track to expand to 50 miles by 2023 from 16 miles now. That should roughly triple the light-rail fleet to 180 from the current 62.

Light rail is on track to reach the University of Washington in 2016 and Seattle’s Northgate neighborhood in 2021. Extensions to Lynnwood and Bellevue are planned in 2023.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

Sound Transit is considering Lynnwood for a future light-rail train yard. Lynnwood city officials have scheduled a meeting Saturday to discuss the plans.

Time: 10 to 11:45 a.m. Saturday.

Place: Cedar Valley Grange Hall, 20526 52nd Ave. W, Lynnwood.

Sound Transit also has scheduled a hearing next month in Lynnwood.

Time: 5 to 7:30 p.m. June 3.

Place: Lynnwood Convention Center, 3711 196th St. SW, Lynnwood.

Submit comments to Sound Transit by email at omsf@soundtransit.org.

See draft environmental impact statements at www.soundtransit.org/omsf.

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