Edmonds commuter rail station closer to reality

EDMONDS — A new Sounder commuter rail station near Edmonds’ waterfront has been planned for years.

It could finally be on the fast track.

Construction on a new, permanent station could begin next spring, according to Sound Transit spokeswoman Linda Robson. The agency has a $12.9 million budget for the project.

The Sounder commuter train already stops in Edmonds near the Amtrak building on Railroad Avenue, but it doesn’t have a dedicated building. The train offers service to Seattle, Mukilteo and Everett.

There were plans to build an interim building this summer, but those stalled earlier this year when funding for a $200 million project that would have combined a permanent Sound Transit station with a new ferry terminal dried up.

Earlier this year, Washington State Ferries announced that they probably wouldn’t have funding for the Edmonds Crossing project for 20 years — or more.

After that announcement, Edmonds officials asked Sound Transit to abandon plans for a bare-bones “interim” station, and focus instead on a permanent station with more amenities. Plans for a permanent station had been approved in 2002, back when optimism for the Edmonds Crossing project was also low.

Now, Edmonds is close to getting what it wants.

Thursday, Sound Transit’s finance committee approved a recommendation to finish plans for a more permanent station.

The change means Edmonds should get a fancier building, Robson said.

“It will have things like more glass, less plywood,” she said. “Permanent stations have higher quality finished materials.”

The change is good for commuters and downtown Edmonds, said Stephen Clifton, the city’s economic development and community services director.

“We’re hoping that once it is developed, it will encourage additional riders and encourage development within the vicinity of the station,” he said. “I think it’s an excellent outcome.”

Chris Fyall: 425-339-3447, cfyall@heraldnet.com.

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