The latest link in Sound Transit’s expanding light rail system is currently under construction, and it’s just blocks from American Mary!
The U District Station will be located on Brooklyn Ave NE, between 45th and 43rd, and will connect the heart of the University District to destinations as far north as Northgate and as far south as Sea-Tac Airport. Right now, crews are working to bore tunnels which will connect to the University of Washington Station—which serves Husky Stadium—and that work is expected to be complete early next year. Once the tunnels are done, construction will begin on the station itself, and service is scheduled to open in early 2021. Currently, the project is six months ahead of schedule and $150 million under budget.
Given how terrible Seattle traffic has gotten, the travel time estimates sound fantastic. Riders who want to make a quick run up to Target or do some shopping at Northgate Mall will be able to make it to the Northgate Station in just five minutes. Getting to Capitol Hill will take just ten, and a trip to the airport will no longer require calling in favors from friends, or shelling out for an expensive Uber ride. Light rail passengers will arrive at Sea-Tac in 45 minutes.
At this point, it’s not clear exactly what will be built to crown the underground station. Earlier plans called for a public park, or mixed use housing and retail. But right now, the University of Washington has proposed a new office tower which would contain the University Bookstore, offices for the staff of the computer science and engineering programs, and satellite offices for prominent tech companies. While that concept hasn’t been officially approved, it means the new structure could rise as high as 240 feet above the corner of Brooklyn Ave and 45th street.
But regardless of the what resides atop the new station, the U District Station means American Mary customers far and wide will be able to hop a train, pick up some of their favorite strain, grab some great take out, and arrive home before their food gets cold. We can’t wait!