Sound Transit construction issues

Last week Sound Transit came clean on a couple of big issues it’s having with the East Link and Federal Way Link extension construction projects.

On the East Link project, there are issues with plinths — concrete blocks that the rails sit on — along the I-90 segment. Those will need to be repaired (and the contractor will need to be retrained and closely supervised moving forward).

On the Federal Way project, it’s been discovered that a segment of the planned path runs through an area of unstable soil. Completing that section will require either different construction techniques or a realignment to nearby land with more stable soil.

Across all the projects, including Lynnwood and downtown Redmond, the concrete workers’ strike and COVID have added further delays and complications.

Sound Transit is still working out what the impacts of these issues will be, but meeting the original timelines for opening the East Link and Federal Way Link extensions seems unlikely.

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