Editor's note: The Council hasn't formally approved the design and construction of the Downtown light rail...but they're close.
Per last night's staff report posted on the consent agenda Council is poised to approve the design and construction of Downtown Redmond light rail project (Concept 2) with a scheduled opening to Downtown in 2024.
The City Council considered changes to the station location and vertical profile of the station and guideway as part of the Downtown Transit Integration (TRAIN) Study, which was conducted between August 2016 and February 2017. Four station area concepts are shown in the above video.
Originally, the preferred alternative for the Downtown Redmond extension and station just east of Half Price Books called for an at-grade station / extension and a "retained cut crossing" under the SR 520 interchange. (According to a reader, "retained cut" is a walled trench, supposedly, in order to pass below the fly-over lanes.)
After receiving community input, which strongly favored an elevated alignment (and a station in the in the vicinity of 164th Ave. NE and 166th Ave. NE), the Council recommended an elevated downtown station. Key considerations for both the community and City Council were maintaining multimodal mobility in Downtown and reducing potential conflicts between light rail vehicles and pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers.
Council concluded significant factors in making their recommendation were the ability to connect the East Lake Sammamish Trail to the Redmond Central Connector, overall project affordability and bicycle and pedestrian access to the Connector Connector trail.
-- Source: 6/6/17 Council meeting agenda