Norah Robinson, King County Parks – Marymoor Park
lead; Greg Helland, FOMP President and SODA rep;
Michael Hobbs, FOMP Secretary, Webmaster; Shane Berry, AEG Live; Travis Roach, TOPS;
Glenn Eades, Eastside Audubon, neighbor; Christian
Miller Marymoor Velodrome Association; and a team from
Sound Transit: Lauren Swift (Senior
Environmental Planner), Leonard McGee (Project
Manager), Ryan Bianchi (Community Outreach
Specialist), and Brianna Henderson
The Link Light Rail system is scheduled to
open their Redmond Technology Center Station (near the
Microsoft campus) in 2023, and extend the line to downtown
Redmond by 2024, with two stops: one at the NE corner of
Marymoor, and the other in downtown Redmond.
ST2 included funding for design of the
extension from Overlake to Redmond, but the economic
downturn limited design to conceptual only, until now.
Between the tail of ST2 funding and the new ST3 funding,
design work and construction can move forward.
A Preferred Alternative was approved in
2011, but much has changed on the ground since then.
ST is now working on a “Project Refinement” to make sure the
preferred alternative still makes sense. Since 2011, SR-520
was widened, and the rail corridor through downtown Redmond
was converted to a very nice trail and park.
The City of Redmond continues to strongly
endorse the routing of the 2011 Preferred Alternative, where
the line would follow the SR-520 right-of-way to the
Southeast Redmond station at the NE corner of Marymoor Park,
and then curve sharply back to the west to follow the old
rail line into downtown. This route was assumed during
cost estimates that had to precede the ST-3 ballot issue.
In contrast to the 2011 Preferred Alternative, Redmond is
now asking for an elevated line into downtown, with an
elevated station near Town Center, rather than further west.
In discussions with WSDOT and Redmond, and
it looks like SR-520 won’t need further expansion. But even
so, there’s not much space between the park (and established
sports fields) and the highway. At the west end, the Link is
entirely within the WSDOT. At the east end, it is entirely
within the park.
Further details of the route are still very
much to be figured out. The trickiest problem is how
the line will cross the east end of SR-520; the line might
fly over the top, or might go partially subterranean, or
might go somewhere in between. This would then effect
the elevation of the Southeast Redmond station. The
prospect of an elevated Southeast Redmond station led Sound
Transit to budget that the line would run elevated along
SR-520 along the north edge of Marymoor Park.
They did show two possible routes at the
extreme east end, with one a lower height station and a
route that cuts more of the park at the velodrome and
extends more into Redmond's Marymoor Subarea neighborhood,
or a very high station leading to an extremely high flyover
of the SR-520.
Regardless of at-grade or elevated, at
the east end of the park, the Link Rail will have to use
some small strip off the north end of Marymoor Park. This
may impact the wetland that’s between the soccer fields and
the cricket field, and will have increasing impact on the
Event Pad and the Velodrome.
The Marymoor Velodrome Association is
concerned about possible vibration impacts on the velodrome
track structure. MVA’s track is 40 years old and could
easily crack. It could be rebuilt in a smaller
configuration if necessary if money were available.
Archeological assessment along the
right-of-way will be conducted. If they find a lot of
artifacts, that could make an elevated alignment more
attractive. They will be conducting geotech analysis at the
Greg expressed an aesthetic complaint about
an elevated alignment; a very obvious man-made structure
would dominate the view to the north. Michael
expressed concerns that an elevated line would separate the
Bear Creek forest from Marymoor from an avian perspective.
This could diminish the desirability of both Marymoor and
the Bear Creek corridor to birds. Glenn suggested that an
elevated line would be awesome and dramatic.
A diagram of the line proposals can be
images/ST_RedExt_RollPlots_032117.pdf (Please note
that the map on page 4 has North at the bottom; I presume
these are all oriented so that the outbound direction is to
the right, but after the hairpin turn entering downtown
Redmond, this can wig you out.)
Further information can be found at
For questions of comments, contact Ryan
email@example.com or at 206-854-0456.
a) Bird Loop: Planting is being hampered by
archeological concerns. Parks is hoping to get some areas of
the park pre-cleared as being non-significant within the top
18-24 inches, so that future plantings in those locations
can proceed at any time.
b) Community Gardens: Work on the paths is
proceeding, though greatly hampered by rain.
c) TOPS tennis facility: TJ Davis expects to have
a draft of the Terms of Agreement between KC and TOPS for
next month’s meeting. Early May is still their target for
presenting to King County Council.
d: Lot B Entrance: Parks want to widen the
entrance to Lot B from Pea Patch Rd., so that 2 cars AND
pedestrians can simultaneously enter/exit. Michael asked,
and Norah confirmed, that (to her understanding) the
widening would be on the north side of the existing
entrance, not eating into the aspen grove.
e: Taiwan Friendship Garden: Back on the table.
Site won’t be in the Historic District. It might be along
the east edge of the east entrance, or it might be somewhere
along the north edge of the Marymoor Connector Trail east of
the Park Maintenance buildings. Glenn expressed concerns
that this is not really something that fills a need, but is
something “outside” possibly being placed in the park.