Crews take next step in testing East Link light rail extension

Sound Transit has taken another step toward completing its major light rail expansion with Link light rail trains now arriving at stations in Bellevue and the Eastside.

Crews have begun clearance testing for the East Link light rail extension, expected to open in 2023. The route will connect Seattle with stations on Mercer Island, Bellevue and the Overlake/Bel Red areas.

The clearance testing involves slowly pushing or pulling trains with a special “high-rail” vehicle, which is essentially a large truck that can run on the tracks. Crews will then measure clearances along the trackway, at station platforms and under overpasses.

Most of the testing will take place overnight as crews continue work leading up to the trains running on their own power later next year.

According to Sound Transit, East Link construction is more than 90% complete and on track to open in 2023, linking downtown Bellevue to the Redmond Technology Station located near the Microsoft campus.