Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

First of three weekend light rail closures in Seattle starts Friday night

Light rail pulling in to Westlake Station
Parker Miles Blohm
The first of three weekend light rail closures in Seattle begins Friday night.

Light rail stations will be closed in both directions starting 11 p.m. Friday between the SODO and Capitol Hill stations in Seattle. They open again at 1 a.m. Monday.

It's the first of three weekend closures this fall that will allow Sound Transit to build a temporary platform at Pioneer Square station. The platform will be used early next year when the transit agency will connect the highly anticipated East Link construction to the main light rail line.

Starting Friday night, buses will shuttle riders between the SODO and Capitol Hill stations in both directions. Travelers also can pick up the shuttle near any of the stations in between.

Sound Transit will provide similar service during closures from Oct. 25-28 and Nov. 8-11.

The agency is warning riders to plan ahead and expect crowding. Sound Transit will run two-bus shuttles every seven minutes in both directions. But the buses hold fewer people than trains and they'll have to contend with surface traffic.

The Seahawks and Huskies do not play at home during those weekends, so service will not be interrupted for football fans heading to the University of Washington or CenturyLink Field. The closures also avoid the first round of the MLS playoffs, where the Sounders are set to take on Dallas FC in Seattle. 

This fall's weekend closures are a preview of a longer disruption coming next year. 

From late January to March 2020, crews will be connecting what will be known as the Blue Line from Redmond to existing light rail, known as the Red Line, at the International District/Chinatown Station. That construction sets the stage for 2023, when the Blue Line is set to open.

During those 10 weeks next year, riders will have to transfer if they're heading past the Pioneer Square station in either direction. So, a rider heading from Capitol Hill to SODO would take one train to Pioneer Square, get off, then get on another southbound train to get to their final destination.

A Seattle native and former KNKX intern, Simone Alicea spent four years as a producer and reporter at KNKX. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University and covered breaking news for the Chicago Sun-Times. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times.