Photo of Community Transit. Reporter file photo courtesy of Lizz Giordano, The Herald

Photo of Community Transit. Reporter file photo courtesy of Lizz Giordano, The Herald

Sound Transit updates Kenmore council on bus service project

The transportation agency discussed its 2020 plans.

Sound Transit is making progress on its State Route 522/Northeast 145th Street Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project — an undertaking that affects Kenmore and other neighboring cities.

The group shared new updates with officials at Kenmore’s Dec. 9 city council meeting.

Still in the planning phase, the bus service project will ultimately be eight miles long and encompasses 13 stations. According to the Sound Transit website, it will connect to the Link light rail at Shoreline South/145th and other services from King County Metro and community transit in addition to Sound Transit.

A trip from Bothell to the Shoreline South/145th Link station is anticipated to be about 22 minutes as a result of the project.

“This is a super exciting collaboration so far with the city and King County Metro and partners to optimize this site that’s supporting the transit parking utility goals,” said BRT director Paul Cornish, who added that the plan for the enterprise is still being refined.

Starting this month, Sound Transit will begin reaching out to property owners who will likely be affected. Cornish said that the company is inviting landholders to schedule one-on-one meetings with project team members and heading meetings with property owners to talk about design, what the ramifications might be and other concerns.

“There are property impacts to the BRT but not a lot of property impacts in Kenmore,” Cornish said.

This year will see the continuation of an environmental review, as well as preliminary engineering, according to Sound Transit.

In the first quarter of the year, Sound Transit is aiming to finalize 10 percent of the project’s design, then present it to the Sound Transit board to move toward the 30 percent phase. Sound Transit and its partners (King County Metro and the city of Kenmore) are looking to continue refining project construction so that transit is not only supported but also includes parking options, which are still in the process of finalization.

Juan Calaf, a senior land use planner for Sound Transit, noted that at the beginning of the project’s second phase, Sound Transit was approached by King County Metro and the city of Kenmore to explore potential parking opportunities at the existing Kenmore Park and Ride. Afterward, three workshops conducted in the summer and fall of 2019 — with a fourth scheduled for this month — were hosted to determine the configuration of the parking garage.

“The big outstanding part is how we’re going to work with Kenmore Park and Ride,” Cornish said.

Environmental review is anticipated to be complete by the second quarter of the year. Online open houses and pop-up events will start taking place to give residents an idea of what the project results in and what its impacts will be.

The 30 percent design phase will continue developing throughout all four quarters.

As of this month, construction on the project is anticipated to occur from 2023-24, with the public able to use the new transit option in 2024.

Sound Transit will come back to the city of Kenmore in the coming months to provide another update on progress.

For the full conversation around the SR 522/Northeast 145th Street Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, go bit.ly/2rNBNF1. To see Sound Transit’s presentation slides, go to bit.ly/35kOQeM.

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