Proposed route for Link light rail expansion sparks concerns from Lynnwood church

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — Sound Transit is years away from deciding the final route of Everett’s Light Rail expansion.

Voters passed the initiative in 2016.

“Anyone who has experienced that hellacious traffic knows that having reliable regular service to Seattle or to the airport would really make a big difference in their lives,” said Sound Transit spokesperson John Gallagher.

But not everyone is on board with Sound Transit’s latest proposal, which outlined the preliminary route options for the Everett expansion earlier this month.

Members of Alderwood Community Church say they were surprised about the routes, which go directly through where their church sits — their church’s property for more than 100 years.

“We knew it was coming. That wasn’t a surprise,” said church elder Tony Bollen. “But then, about three or four weeks ago, we saw some maps that made it seem pretty obvious that it’s not just coming. It’s kind of coming right where our two buildings sit.”

Their church must move only if one of those proposed routes is approved. Sound Transit is still years from a decision.

“We are at the very earliest phases of the process. So this is really the chance for us to explore ways to mitigate or avoid any impacts to the church property,” said Gallagher.

Bollen said the church’s discussions with Sound Transit have been peaceful and productive.

“This is very much a work in progress,” said Bollen. “But our attitude has been, ‘Let’s involve ourselves in the process now and not wait two or three years when it might be too late.’”