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First Hill Streetcar Makes Progress

Since the groundbreaking on April 23, SDOT and its contractor have been hard at work constructing the new First Hill Streetcar line. The early focus of the project has been underground utility work along with track and roadway work, followed by traffic signals and overhead wiring. As we scheduled high impact work during summer months with less student activity, our greatest efforts have been in the vicinity of Seattle Central Community College and Bailey Gatzert Elementary School.

First Hill Streetcar Track Construction

In just the first three months of the project, we have already:

  • Installed 2000 feet of streetcar rail along the alignment (primarily on Broadway and Yesler)
  • Completed 900 feet of finished track slab (rail with concrete encasement) on Broadway between Howell and Pine
  • Welded nearly 25,000 feet of rail into 235 foot sections, which is being installed along the alignment
  • Installed or modified approximately 35 underground utility structures
  • Installed eight streetcar track drains
  • Installed 700 feet of water main on Jackson and Broadway
  • Installed 200 feet of electrical duct bank 

In addition, several large utility installations have begun with the first of 10 blocks of replacement water main constructed along Jackson and the start of six-foot diameter storm water detention pipe construction at Yesler and Broadway. 

When completed, the First Hill line will be an important transit connection that helps residents and visitors reach work, business and entertainment destinations all along its route. When it opens for service in the spring of 2014, an estimated 3,000 daily riders are expected to use the line.

SDOT is working hard to ensure traffic continues to flow and that effects on businesses are minimized. As with any construction project, there are impacts from the work. However, these are short-term compared to the long-term benefits of a streetcar line that reliably connects First Hill, Capitol Hill, the International District/Chinatown and Pioneer Square. 

If you have concerns about construction, please give us a call via our First Hill Streetcar project hotline at (206) 257-2121 or via e-mail at: You can also sign up for our e-mail list and find weekly project updates at