UW News

February 24, 2005

‘Modified Montlake’ route preferred by Sound Transit

The Sound Transit Board recently identified the 12th Avenue route as the preferred light rail link between the UW and Northgate.

The decision accommodates the wishes of both the Roosevelt community and the UW, according to Theresa Doherty, assistant vice president for regional affairs.

“While Sound Transit is still considering the University’s needs for minimizing the impact of construction and operation of their trains on the campus community, their identification of the preferred Roosevelt route is another step toward providing a way to reach downtown or Northgate from our campus, while still protecting the environment that has made the University of Washington a world class research and teaching institution,” Doherty says.

The decision follows a protracted analysis that occurred over the last year to identify a preferred route through the University area from among five alternatives. After hearing from the UW Board of Regents that a route directly up Rainier Vista posed an unacceptable risk of vibration and electromagnetic interference from trains to UW research and teaching pursuits, the Sound Transit Board identified a “Modified Montlake” route last February as their preferred alternative route through the University District to connect downtown to Northgate. That route would tunnel under the Montlake Cut, have a station near Husky Stadium, and tunnel under the campus in a northwesterly arc to arrive at a station on Brooklyn Avenue south of Northeast 45th Street.

“The Sound Transit Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement Addendum describing the Modified Montlake route has assured the University that, but for a few buildings on campus, Sound Transit could mitigate the potentially devastating impact on research of vibration and electromagnetic interference caused by trains under the campus,” Doherty says.

Sound Transit has indicated a willingness to pay for the relocation of research from Wilcox, Mechanical Engineering, Roberts, and Computer Science/Electrical Engineering where they cannot mitigate the effects of train vibration and/or electromagnetic interference to thresholds published in the addendum, Doherty says.