Sound Transit installs first rails for Central Link light rail in SODO (south downtown Seattle) on August 17, 2005.

  • By HistoryLink Staff
  • Posted 8/19/2005
  • Essay 7443
On August 17, 2005, Sound Transit installs the first rails for the Central Link light rail line. The line will run from SODO (south of downtown Seattle) to Tukwila and then to the airport. It is scheduled to be finished in 2009. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels (b. 1955) and Sound Transit Board Chair John Ladenburg laid the rail.

On Schedule, Under Budget

The laying of the rail was considered a milestone as the project continues to be built on schedule and under budget. "These ribbons of steel," said John Ladenburg, Sound Transit Board Chair and Pierce County Executive, will carry thousands of people a day for many generations into the future. Today is an important day in the construction of the mass transit system this region needs..." (News Release).

Mayor Nickels said, "Today is a historic day for the future of transportation in our region" (News Release).

The first rail to be installed runs through Seattle's SODO area between Holgate Street S and S Lander Street. It includes four 1,200-foot-long ribbons of steel weighing some 23 tons each. Mountain Pacific Rail, subcontractor to Kiewit Pacific Co. is the general contractor for the SODO portion of the rail.

The Seattle to Tukwila portion of the Central Link began transporting passengers in July 2009. The Airport segment -- continuing to the Seattle Tacoma International Airport -- opened on December 19, 2009.

Sources: News Release, August 17, 2005, Sound Transit, Seattle, Washington.
Note: This essay was updated on December 23, 2009.

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