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News

July 26, 2018

Downtown Bellevue Tunnel achieves breakthrough

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Left to right: Hong Yang, Roy West, Mike Murray and Sushir Patel.

Sound Transit's East Link project, a $3.7 billion, 14-mile (22-kilometer) light rail transit (LRT) extension, will connect downtown Seattle with the cities of Bellevue and Redmond. East Link is scheduled to open for revenue operations in 2023.

The most technically challenging aspect of the project is the Downtown Bellevue Tunnel, 2,500 feet (0.7 kilometers) long, to be constructed using a combination of cut and cover and the Sequential Excavation Method (SEM). The tunnel passes through glacially overconsolidated soil deposits at shallow depth and in close proximity to the basements of high-rise buildings.

The tunnel breakthrough was completed on July 20, some five months ahead of schedule. The breakthrough was a very exciting milestone for the project and a considerable achievement for all those associated with the design and delivery of this section of the East Link project.

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