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Seattle lightrail construction pic


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^ That's my guess but it could also be a platform for a station that is slated to go in that proximity. The area is a hill top just above a steep grade hence the need to suspend the line. Here is a route map. The pic above is looking east down the hill along 518 where it meets 99 (Tukwila International Blvd. on map):


Here is another map. The pic above is right around where S 154th St. Station is on the top part of this map:


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I didn't realise that construction had started on that section yet. Guess I'll have to schedule a walking trip to get pictures of that construction area (I've done that twice on the section between the south end of the transit tunnel (now closed for retrofitting) and the intersection of MLK Way & Henderson in south Seattle).

The extension to the airport could be delayed due to Southwest Airlines wanting to move to Boeing Field.

-- LB

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^ That Southwest proposal was killed by the county just a few days ago. If Southwest really wants out of Sea-Tac, it will probably have to start looking at Paine Field in Everett or other alternatives.

Southwest is just as responsible as the other major carriers at Sea-Tac (Northwest, Alaska) for the increase in traffic and the need to expand.

It was mentioned on the Seattle news (when I was last there and this was a hot topic) that Sea-Tac carries the highest fees for any airport in Southwest's service area, and that the fees will just go up because of this.

However, I don't see how the investment required (parking, terminal construction, new offices, rental car areas, etc) in turning Boeing into a passenger terminal is adventageous. Just look at Love Field, Meighs Field, Islip, and all of the other jackass things Southwest has done with these alternate airports where you can go no where once you land (Houston Hobby is the only exception to this I believe, which does have quite a few non-Southwest flights out). The only time this works for the airline is when the airport is the terminus point, meaning that it's unlikely the passenger will connect. Seattle doesn't work, in my opinion, because of people continuing onto Alaska or Asia, of which, a few, I'm sure, connect at Sea-Tac on Southwest.

It would be nice to land at an airport closer to Downtown, but only because the transit options are currently pretty lame (two crowded, express buses or expensive shuttles). Once the light rail comes in and the expansion is complete, I think Sea-Tac will look more attractive to everyone.

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Here is a pic of them working on the rails in the subway:


It's interesting to note that the subway construction has overtaken and closed the bus tunnel (pictured above). It closed in late September and will be shut down for two years. Once re-opened, it will be shared by the light rail trains and buses.

The bus tunnel is a 2.1 km tube running under Downtown Seattle where buses could duck underground to avoid the clutter and traffic of Downtown. It was actually very nice, and I'm sorry that it's had to close, although the ends certainly outweigh the means in this situation.

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