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June 2, 2015

Capitol Hill Station 90% complete; U Link set to open early next year

Photo by Sky-Pix Aerial Photography [enlarge]

Construction of the light rail station on Capitol Hill is about 90 percent complete.

Bruce Gray of Sound Transit said crews are finishing the last large piece of the civil work: a pedestrian tunnel below Broadway.

Most of the remaining work involves architectural finishes such as setting tile for the main entrance at Broadway and East John Street, and there is also sidewalk restoration, commissioning two elevators and installing six escalators.

Engineers are testing four-car trains at the station and the two tunnels that feed into it. Operator training will begin in August or September.

Gray said Sound Transit is restoring areas adjacent to the station for new development. He said the agency is negotiating a master development agreement with Gerding Edlen.

Capitol Hill Station is part of the 3.1-mile University Link light rail line that connects to the station adjacent to Husky Stadium. U Link is six to eight months ahead of schedule and $150 million below its $1.9 billion budget, according to Gray.

Turner Construction is the general contractor for Capitol Hill Station. Hewitt is the architect and Jacobs is the structural engineer. Stacy and Witbeck is the main systems contractor.

U Link is about 95 percent finished and scheduled to open in early 2016. Sound Transit will announce a more specific opening date in August.

The agency estimates it will take about 4 minutes to travel by light rail between the University of Washington and Capitol Hill.

(Editor's note: An earlier version of this article said it would take 8 minutes to travel between the UW and Capitol Hill. It will take 8 minutes to travel between the UW and downtown.)

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