Light rail station on schedule; blue wall coming down soon

As we mentioned earlier, there was an information meeting scheduled last night about Sound Transit’s request to extend the technical noise variance for construction of the Beacon Hill station and light rail tunnels.

I attended the meeting. I was the only person to attend, other than the Sound Transit representatives. Though the weather was probably a factor in the low attendance, it seems that there isn’t a big fuss about this variance extension.

The friendly Sound Transit folks answered a few questions for me. There will be no additional noise beyond what is happening currently (if you do have a noise complaint, however, the 24-hour construction hotline number is 888-298-2395). The station is currently still on schedule to open in July 2009, but they don’t yet have an exact date. And the blue wall around the construction site is expected to come down in February or March, so we should start seeing more of the station site soon. It has been a very long time that we’ve lived with that blue wall around a big chunk of our “downtown.”

9 thoughts on “Light rail station on schedule; blue wall coming down soon”

  1. I really wish I could have gone to this. I got my dates mixed up. This month is going by way too fast. Anyway, my recollection is that the variance extension was for another 6 months or so. The blue (noise-reducing) wall coming down sooner must mean that the conditions of the variance will last for the same period, as the noise wall is the primary mitigation component required for the variance. That is great. I am looking forward to getting a view of the block once most of the equipment has been removed and the wall comes down. It will be interesting to see what happens to the lots that are leased by ST but will be vacated upon station completion. I have my fingers crossed that they don’t sit vacant for years.

  2. Great news! February will be here before we know it. I went to a ST meeting a few months ago and got to tour behind the blue wall. At that meeting, they said the grand opening is scheduled for July 3rd, 2009.

  3. “Anyway, my recollection is that the variance extension was for another 6 months or so. The blue (noise-reducing) wall coming down sooner must mean that the conditions of the variance will last for the same period, as the noise wall is the primary mitigation component required for the variance.”

    Hmm, interesting point. I wish you had been there to ask about it. :) The variance is for an extra 6 months. They have to take the blue wall down at some point, however, because some of the exterior work (sidewalks, etc.) can’t be done with the wall in place. I imagine that that work would be not all that loud, though. Or done during the day time. Of course, most of the finishing work for the stations is down at the bottom of the shaft, and the blue wall probably won’t affect any noise from that.

    They were pretty clear that the wall was going to come down before the end of the variance period; they said Feb. or March is actually a “conservative estimate” of the date the wall will come down.

  4. on schedule!?! Ha Ha! When they closed off that part of Lander, I remember the sign, “Closed until September 2006”. That was years ago… They’ve been ruining the neighborhood ever since!

  5. The blue wall coming down has been much delayed, yes. But for a long time now they’ve been saying that the light rail service would start in July ’09, and *that* is still on schedule.

    The Beacon Hill station might be the last part finished, though… (other than SeaTac, which won’t open until late next year).

  6. Ash said I remember the sign, “Closed until September 2006″.

    I never remember “2006” — I thought it was funny that in 2005 it said “2009” – and took a photo of it saying MM DD 2005 to MM DD 2009.

  7. I think it actually said 2008…? I am pretty sure I saw a picture on Flickr recently that showed the sign with the old date. The date on the sign has been changed at least once, but it never did say 2006 as far as I know.

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