Public and private investment in Center City is at an all-time high. Over the next several years (2018 – 2023) several public and private projects will be underway in Center City that will put increasing pressure on our transportation system and greater demand on our public spaces. Below is information about each.
Center City currently has over 10,000 residential units under construction and over 11 million square feet of institutional, office, and retail space approved for construction.
The Washington State Convention Center is expanding, and a new facility will be built between Pine Street and Olive Way at the site of the Convention Place Station. Construction will start in 2018 and is expected to close the Convention Place Station and bus access to the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. This closure will help to make way for additional Link light rail trains as new stations come online in 2021 (Northgate Link) and 2023 (Lynnwood Link and East Link). Anticipated effects to traffic and transit on Olive Way, Pine Street, Pike Street, and Union Street are not yet determined, and they may vary throughout project construction.
Convention Center construction is anticipated to be completed by 2020.
To learn more about the expansion of the Washington State Convention Center, visit the project website.
Our light rail system is expanding and five new Link extensions are anticipated to come online in the next seven years:
Northgate Link in 2021
East Link in 2023
Lynnwood Link in 2023
Federal Way Link in 2024
Redmond Link in 2024
To accommodate new stations and growing ridership, more trains will run through the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. Opening new light rail service will also trigger a restructure of bus service in the areas surrounding each station. King County Metro anticipates beginning planning and public engagement for these bus changes two years prior to the start of light rail service.
In fall 2018, construction on Sound Transit's East Link Light Rail will close access to the D-2 bus access ramp from I-90. This closure will impact buses that access downtown surface streets and the Downtown Transit Tunnel from I-90.
To learn more about East Link light rail expansion, visit Sound Transit's project website.
Currently, seven bus routes operate alongside Link in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. However, these buses may need to move to downtown surface streets beginning in fall 2018 to accomodate the closure of the Convention Place Station. As the tunnel closes to buses, these routes will either operate through downtown or change to connect riders to other options at the south or north end of downtown.
Big changes are underway for SR 99, the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and the Seattle Waterfront. These changes will affect how traffic moves through and accesses the Center City from the north and the south.
Construction on the new SR 99 tunnel is ongoing. Once the tunnel is completed, the Alaskan Way Viaduct will be removed to make way for improvements to Alaskan Way and the Seattle Waterfront.
New extensions of the Center City Bike Network are coming. New protected bicycle lanes are planned along segments of:
S Dearborn Street
Plans for the 4th Ave buffered bike lane extension are also moving forward.
To learn more about the Center City Bike Network, visit the project website.
The Center City Connector streetcar will connect the First Hill Streetcar with the South Lake Union Streetcar, primarily via 1st Avenue and Stewart Street. Advanced utility construction on the Center City Connector will likely begin in summer 2017 and work is anticipated to be completed by 2020. The project is likely to affect traffic patterns on downtown streets, both during construction and once in operation.
For more information about the Center City Connector, visit the project website.
Additional major transit projects that are currently in development in the Center City area include: