Construction continues at the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center on Jan. 9, in Mountlake Terrace. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Construction continues at the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center on Jan. 9, in Mountlake Terrace. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Paved path, plaza coming to Mountlake Terrace near light rail

The public space additions are envisioned as boosting access to the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center.

In a few years, Mountlake Terrace could become a bustling hub for people flocking to its upcoming light rail station, set to open in 2024.

When service starts, Sound Transit estimates upwards of 55,000 riders could board stations in Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace and Shoreline every day. That’s over twice the 21,428 Mountlake Terrace residents tallied during the recent U.S. Census.

Even assuming most of those riders board at the other three stations, the surge still would exceed the 890 parking spaces at the Mountlake Terrace center.

City leaders want to help people reach and relax at the station and Mountlake Terrace Transit Center by investing $5 million in a couple of projects eyed for construction next year.

The city’s Veterans Memorial Park is just northeast of the transit center. The city’s new civic campus, Sno-Isle Library branch and post office are on the north end of the 8.27-acre wooded park with footpaths weaving through it.

The city wants to make the park more accessible and safer to walk with lighting and a paved trail.

Today, the trails are mostly dirt and gravel. The main route to be paved is being evaluated for proper slope, parks project manager Donnelle Dayao said.

“Right now it’s a fairly steep access from the civic campus down to the transit center,” Dayao said. “We’re creating more level ground.”

One is a pedestrian plaza south of the transit center and across 236th Street SW between I-5’s off-ramp and Van Ry Boulevard. The 2,000-square-foot space is envisioned as mostly paved with benches, gardens, lighting, public art and trees.

A public call for artists to submit bids on the plaza’s public art closed in December and drew 30 applications. City staff selected four finalists to ask for proposals and models, and later will present those at a public meeting for input to help choose the final artist, Mountlake Terrace support service supervisor and arts advisory commission liaison Renee Norton wrote in an email.

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