The Sound Transit Board today selected the site of the old BNSF rail yard in Bellevue — next to the planned Spring District development — as the preferred location for a new light-rail maintenance yard.
A final decision is expected in late 2015, after environmental reviews of the site.
Many in Bellevue have complained that placing a maintenance yard at the old BSNF rail yard, would undercut plans for the high-density, mixed-use urban village known as The Spring District, to be developed by Wright Runstad.
The maintenance facility in Seattle’s Sodo neighborhood could not accommodate the additional cars needed for the planned light-rail extensions to Lynnwood and the Eastside, and the transit agency wants a maintenance yard near the new rail lines. Sound Transit staff had presented the board with three options: two sites in Bellevue’s Bel Red Corridor and one in Lynnwood.
In Lynnwood, Sound Transit suggested property the Edmonds School District owns and wants to use as its own transportation facility.
In Bellevue, the site not chosen — just below Highway 520 and east of 130th Avenue Northeast — would have displaced more than 100 businesses at Plaza 520.