by: John Knicely Updated:
SEATAC, Wash. - The quarter-mile walkway from the Link light rail station to Sea-Tac airport will be a little warmer in the coming weeks.
The Port of Seattle is moving forward with a $3.5 million plan to enclose it with heaters. Commuters are exposed to outdoor elements as they make the walk, which opened in 2009.
Port Commissioner Stephanie Bowman told KIRO 7 Tuesday that she hopes for a complete $28 million overhaul with a moving walkway soon.
KIRO 7 found passengers bundled up Tuesday on the quarter-mile walk.
“It's a little chilly,” said Malcolm Oliver. “It's a little chilly, yeah. But I brought my gloves, though.”
Airport staff plan to have the walkway enclosed in the next 3 weeks and heaters installed in January.
“We should have done it a long time ago,” said Bowman.
The $3.5 million will come from the airport operating budget. The project will include four carts with workers who will drive older and disabled passengers to and from the light rail station.
KIRO 7 found out why the renovations won’t include a moving walkway.
“The walkway is not wide enough to accommodate a moving walkway,” said Bowman. “And the ceiling height isn't tall enough, either. So it's an engineering problem, but we're going to be able to solve it.”
The walkway will have to be torn down and rebuilt to add a moving walkway.
It would be an estimated $28 million project that Bowman hopes will be solidified when staff submit the airport master plan in the next 6 months.
“It needs to be done sooner rather than later,” she said.
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