An artist’s conception of the Mountlake Terrace station for the Link Light Rail Extension from Northgate to Lynnwood. (Sound Transit) 2018

An artist’s conception of the Mountlake Terrace station for the Link Light Rail Extension from Northgate to Lynnwood. (Sound Transit) 2018

Part of MLT Transit Center will close for light-rail work

The transit center’s surface lot will close Oct. 19, replaced by an interim lot in downtown Terrace.

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Big parking changes are coming next month at the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center to make room for Link light rail construction.

In the transit center surface lot, 220 spaces will disappear after Oct. 19. A new lot with slightly more spaces will open about a half mile away at the former site of Roger’s Market Place. The transit center garage will remain open.

That won’t be the only parking adjustment for Mountlake Terrace commuters during the nearly five-year construction timeline ahead.

“The interim lot will be open for 12 to 18 months,” said John Gallagher, a Sound Transit spokesman. “At that point, we’ll be able to open a temporary lot at 59th Place. That temporary lot will be open until the new station opens in 2024.”

The future lot at 59th Place West, next to the the transit center, is currently a cul-de-sac of nine single-family houses that Sound Transit is in the process of acquiring through eminent domain.

When those houses fall, they’ll join a host of other visual cues portending the construction of the future 8.5-mile light rail route from Northgate to Lynnwood. Crews have cut down thousands of trees along I-5 since spring. A Black Angus restaurant and a furniture warehouse next to the Lynnwood Transit Center were knocked down by excavators last year.

“As construction picks up, we’re going to be seeing a lot of changes and a lot of impacts along the way,” Gallagher said.

Sound Transit this week announced the Oct. 19 switch-over date — a Saturday. The transit center surface lot is set to close at 8 that evening.

After that, commuters can use 235 spots in the interim park-and-ride at 56th Ave W and 232nd Street SW, where a supermarket used to stand until being demolished earlier this year. There are 235 spaces there.

Buses already run frequently along 56th. Additionally, Sound Transit promises to run a shuttle service to the transit center to “ensure the wait is never more than 10 minutes during peak hours,” an agency news alert said. “In fact, in most instances the wait will be far shorter.”

Commuters from the Lynnwood Transit Center also will see some major parking disruptions during construction, but specific dates haven’t been announced yet.

“There will be multiple moves there throughout the construction,” Gallagher said. “We’ll give people as much notice as possible.”

The construction of a parking garage at the Lynnwood Transit Center will replace part of the surface lot and add about 500 new spaces. It’s slated for completion in 2023, about a year before Link light-rail trains start serving the station.

When the light-rail extension is complete, riders should be able to travel from Lynnwood to downtown Seattle within a half hour and from Lynnwood to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in about an hour.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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