Friday was a perfect day for the long-awaited dedication of Sound Transit Edmonds Station. The sun broke through clouds and a passing train added a fitting soundtrack to one of the official speeches.
“This is what all the work was about,” said Dave Earling, one of three original Sound Transit board members and former Edmonds City Council member. Earling, who is running for Edmonds mayor this year, was on hand along with other local political and Sound Transit dignitaries.
The event, commemorating the completion of construction upgrades at Edmonds Station, marked the end of a $12.9 million construction project. Enhancements include a new east platform, new weather-protected passenger shelters and a transit center consisting of three bus bays and two passenger shelters.
Commuters also benefit from a repaved parking area, upgraded lighting and secure bike storage.
An underground storm water drainage system has also been installed to address frequent flooding at the site, said Celia Kupersmith, Sound Transit deputy CEO and former manager of the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District in San Francisco. “Commuters can now get out of their cars and not worry stepping into water,” she said. “It helps provide a permanent, safe feeling.”
Although the completion of the transit hub was lauded by all, it is a scaled down version of Edmonds Crossing, a regional project that was intended to provide a long-term solution to current operational and safety conflicts between ferry, rail, automobile, bus and pedestrian traffic in downtown Edmonds and along SR 104. Edmonds Crossing proposed moving the ferry terminal from the end of Main Street to Point Edwards, south of the downtown core.
Part of the new station includes a second Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) rail line alongside the existing rail line between the areas north of downtown Edmonds and south of Marina Beach Park, according to Stephen Clifton, Edmonds community services and economic development director.
Plans for the transit center include a new passenger platform west of the second track and a second east platform north of the Amtrak station, said Kimberly Reason, a spokeswoman for Sound Transit.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done as we complete the second track and the next phase of this station,” said Edmonds Mayor Mike Cooper, who added that the station ties together Sound Transit, Community Transit and Washington State Ferries. (Watch the mayor's complete speech.)
“But this is such an important part of the future of our city. It ties together a community that we hope in the future where people will be able to get off the train and walk to a mixed-use facility where they can shop and live with a few hundred yards of the train station. Those are the kinds of things we like to see in Edmonds as we do our long-term strategic planning.”
In addition to Cooper, speakers at Friday’s celebration include Sound Transit board chairman and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, Sound Transit boardmember and mayor of Mukilteo Joe Marine, Federal Transit Administration regional administrator Rick Krochalis, and Washington State Sen. Paull Shin (D-Edmonds).
“Sound Transit is pleased to bring the residents of Edmonds the expanded Sounder station that they’ve been waiting for,” said Reardon. “Our new transit center offers commuters a contemporary, multiuse facility that will serve their diverse transportation needs, whether it’s catching the train, taking the bus, or riding the bike.”
Ceremonial ribbon cutting was held at the station’s north end, in front of the sculpture Standing Wave by Northwest artist Gerard Tsutakawa. The symbolizes the movement of the waters of Puget Sound.
Edmonds Station will continue to offer four Sounder and three Amtrak train roundtrips each day. Community Transit will start providing service to the new transit center later this summer.
“Not only is the new station more functional and pedestrian-friendly,” said Cooper, “but the attractiveness of its design represents the unique character of our community.”
Seattle-based KPFF Consulting Engineers conducted preliminary and final design services, and local contractor Pellco Construction, Inc. built the station. The project received $2 million in federal funding.
For more information on the Edmonds Sounder station, go to Sound Transit’s website.
The temporary commuter parking area on Admiral Way closes permanently on July 8 at p.m. Any vehicles in the lot after the closure date are subject to fines or towing by the Port of Edmonds. The new parking lot north of the Amtrak Depot opens on Monday, July 11. The new bus transit center operated by Community Transit is expected to open later this summer.