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Sound Transit’s Northgate Link Extension Construction Making Strides

Sound Transit’s Northgate Link Extension will extend Link service in Seattle to three stations north of the University of Washington Station at Husky Stadium (also currently under construction as part of University Link):

  • U District Station
  • Roosevelt Station, and
  • Northgate Station.

The map to the right  shows the alignment and station locations of the Northgate Link Extension.   Estimated ride time is about 14 minutes from Northgate to downtown Seattle!

Mark P_ST RESIZEConstruction formally kicked-off in 2012 and work is underway so that service to U District, Roosevelt, and Northgate Stations can begin by 2021. In late September, construction activities moved into a new gear when JCM Northlink LLC, Sound Transit’ excavation and tunneling contractor, started work.  The majority of the alignment for the Northgate Link Extension will be built underground. The tunnels begin at the University of Washington Station at Husky Stadium and extend 3.6 miles north where they come out of the ground at NE 94th street at what is called the Maple Leaf Portal (see map above).  Tunnels will be constructed from north to south using tunnel boring machines (TBMs).  Check out this video about how TBMs work.

Preparations are currently underway by JCM Northlink LLC so that tunneling can begin in late 2014. Before digging the tunnel, construction crews must move utilities out of the way, install monitoring equipment, remove vegetation/trees, and install perimeter walls/fences around construction sites.  They must also excavate areas where the stations and portal will eventually go.  The tunneling crews will use these excavated areas as starting points to launch the tunnel boring machines.  Activity will be increasing around the Maple Leaf Portal, Roosevelt Station, and U District Station sites as construction crews make the preparations needed to begin tunneling. 

To stay up to date on Northgate Link Extension construction activities and associated travel detours/closures subscribe to email alerts through Sound Transit’s website or access the alerts online.  Sound Transit holds open houses periodically – the next one, U District Station Construction Open House, is scheduled for 6 – 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11.  General project information is available at or by calling (206) 398-5300.  Sound Transit also provides a 24-hour construction hotline at (888) 298-2395.