Highline College

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Regardless of COVID, trains will still run on time

Anthony Barahona/THUNDERWORD
While much of the Federal Way Light Rail construction project remains shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, demolition of the buy-out area for the new Highline College Light Rail Station remains on schedule. Here the old Midway Auto Sales building at 23616 Pacific Highway South is about to meet its demise. When students, staff and faculty finally return to campus, they'll find wide swaths of buildings that once occupied the east side of Pacific Highway South are now vacant land.

Caleb Ruppert Staff Reporter May 14

The Link Rail extension that will connect Highline and Federal Way to the rest of the Sound Transit system is proceeding on schedule despite COVID restrictions.

Sound Transit issued a stop work order for all construction projects on April 4 due to the pandemic, said Scott Thompson, a public information officer for Sound Transit, with some exceptions.

“There was some essential work that was allowed to continue on several projects including Federal Way Link which involved the demolition of some properties along the alignment,” he said.

New standards and procedures for construction were put in place on April 24 by Governor Inslee that requires contractors to follow new guidelines while on a worksite.

“There are 30 separate points that our contractors are now required to follow to continue work,” Thompson said. “All our contractors have met these requirements, including Kiewit, who is our Design/Build contractor for the Federal Way Link extension.”

With contractors meeting new standards most Sound Transit construction projects were able to begin again early this month, he said.

“The Federal Way Link Extension is still scheduled to be open for service in 2024, which means all three stations will open in 2024,” he said.

The Link Light Rail extension will add three more stops in South King county. There will be a Kent/Des Moines station just north of South 240th Street near Highline, a station at South 272nd Street, and one at the Federal Way Transit Center.

The Kent/Des Moines station will be within walking distance of Highline. It will feature large public plaza areas with seating and public art. The station will also have a 500-space parking garage.