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STV Systems Group Supports Growth of Seattle’s Sound Transit

Jan 19, 2022
Northgate Station

To meet the needs of its exponentially growing commuter population, Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit) in Seattle has initiated one of the most ambitious public transportation system expansions in the country – adding new stations and line extensions on a nearly annual basis.

With its decades of institutional expertise in the passenger rail transportation market sector, STV is playing a key role in several of these Sound Transit projects – including the recently opened $1.9 billion Northgate Link light rail extension connecting the University of Washington to Seattle’s rapidly developing Northgate neighborhood.

Northgate Extension

In support of the Northgate Extension, STV, in joint venture with Mott MacDonald, is overseeing the construction of infrastructure and systems components. The light rail service operates in twin tunnels and is projected to serve more than 60,000 weekday riders by 2030.

“The opening of the Northgate Link extension is yet another milestone in our work with Sound Transit,” said John Ponzio, senior vice president of STV’s national systems practice. “STV is proud to help expand this vital system throughout the Seattle metropolitan area.”

The joint venture is providing similar services for the 14-mile East Link extension between downtown Seattle and downtown Bellevue and the Overlake area of Redmond, home to Microsoft’s corporate headquarters. The service is scheduled to open in 2023, and Sound Transit estimates that at least 50,000 people a day will use East Link by 2030. Once completed, it will be the world’s only passenger light rail service operating over a floating bridge – referring to the section of I-90 over Lake Washington connecting Mercer Island and Seattle.

As Sound Transit has expanded its system, so has STV’s systems practice on the West Coast. STV was first contracted by the agency more than 10 years ago when the firm performed construction management services for systems installation along the 3.2-mile University Link extension, which opened in 2016. This extension was a game changer for the city, connecting Seattle’s largest job center (downtown Seattle), with its premier nightlife district (Capitol Hill) and its largest university, the University of Washington. In its first two years, ridership on the system increased by 66%.

South Bellevue Station

In addition to the Northgate and East Link projects, STV is also currently performing construction management services for the systems component of the 8.5-mile Lynnwood Link extension, scheduled to open in 2024. Sound Transit anticipates within two years of opening Lynwood, it will be its busiest link.

“I have worked on Sound Transit projects for many years,” said Ja-Mie Luey, P.E., STV vice president and West Coast rail systems manager, who joined the firm in 2017 to help further shepherd the systems’ practice growth out west. “So, to see their system grow and flourish like this is incredibly rewarding.”

Northgate Preview Ride

Click here to learn more about STV’s rail systems portfolio and capabilities.

Photos courtesy of Sound Transit.