The City of Mountlake Terrace recently honored Sound Transit with its Evergreen Award in the “Best Transformation” category for construction of the transit agency’s Mountlake Terrace Freeway Station. The new transit center opened in March.
The award recognizes projects that have transformed neglected properties into significant community assets. Mayor Jerry Smith presented the award to Jim Edwards, Sound Transit’s Deputy Executive Director for Engineering, at a dessert reception held at the Lake Ballinger Golf Course.
“The Mountlake Terrace Freeway Station serves as a catalyst for job creation and economic development, and it goes hand in hand with the city’s revitalization efforts by providing convenient transit options to those who live and work here,” said Mayor Jerry Smith. “Our thanks to Sound Transit for investing in our community.”
The freeway station, located in the Interstate 5 median at 236th Street Southwest, includes a covered pedestrian concrete bridge that crosses the northbound lanes of I-5 and connects to the third floor of Community Transit’s Mountlake Terrace Transit Center. The freeway station includes direct-access bus bays for northbound and southbound bus routes, fully accessible, weather-protected passenger platforms, attractively designed benches, and art-enhanced glass walls that minimize freeway noise. A waiting area features a large bronze log sculpture cast from a felled tree and a series of stainless steel “tree rings” by artists Nancy Chew and Jacqueline Metz.
Since Sound Transit opened the facility, ST Express ridership on Snohomish County routes serving the station experienced the largest increases for the second quarter, particularly Route 511 from Lynnwood, where peak levels doubled. Total ST Express ridership increased 11 percent from last year.
Three ST Express and three Community Transit bus routes serve the freeway station. ST Express buses to Seattle arrive at and depart from the facility seven days a week. Four Community Transit routes and a King County Metro route continue to serve the adjacent Mountlake Terrace park-and-a-ride garage. The station’s unique design allows swift transit access from the freeway to the facility, enabling transit agencies to run more frequent morning and afternoon peak, midday and evening service – and operate weekend express bus service to Seattle for the first time in the city’s history.
“Thanks to Sound Transit’s partnership with the City and Community Transit, the Mountlake Terrace freeway station provides fast and convenient access to 11 regional and local bus routes,” said Sound Transit Board Chair and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.
The $35.4 million project was funded with $22.6 million from Sound Transit, a $5 million Regional Mobility grant from Washington state, and $9 million in federal funding, including $4.6 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act monies. The City of Mountlake Terrace and Community Transit provided planning assistance.
The Mountlake Terrace Evergreen Awards, partially funded by a grant from the Snohomish County-Camano Association of Realtors (SCCAR), recognize property owners and renters who take pride in their community by beautifying, renovating, and improving their homes, condominiums and businesses and adding features that promote sustainability.