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Old March 10th, 2007, 01:28 AM   #421
Jaxom92
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Here's a pic of the maintenance base for the Light Rail. Not as good as one they had a while back though...

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Old March 10th, 2007, 04:45 AM   #422
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The bid on Sound Transit's light-rail stop at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport came in $43.5 million higher than expected.

It's back to drawing board: Sea-Tac rail stop gets 1 bid

By Mike Lindblom

Seattle Times staff reporter

Just one company bid to build Sound Transit's landmark light-rail stop at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, at a price $43.5 million higher than expected.

That means light-rail director Ahmad Fazel will have to negotiate a cheaper price, rebid the work or make the glass-lined station less elaborate.

In a bid opened this week, Mowat Construction offered to do the job for $95.3 million, far more than the $51.8 million expected by Sound Transit's engineers and consultants. The project budget contains only $58 million for the station — not much wiggle room.

Sound Transit has no intention of awarding a $95 million deal, Fazel said.

He attributed the gap mainly to a shortage of contractors in a hot construction market.

Another contractor, PCL, considered the job "appealing" but couldn't put a bid package together within the two months available, said David Hrynyk, PCL's project director for Sound Transit's predominantly aerial light-rail segment in neighboring Tukwila.

A third firm, Balfour Beatty, similarly had many other projects to choose from and a shortage of people to put together the bid, Fazel said.

When private jobs are plentiful, firms prefer those to public projects, which generally have more requirements, such as small-business hiring goals and community-outreach rules, said Jerry Dinndorf, district manager for Associated General Contractors.

"Just look around town, and you can see everyone's pretty busy," Dinndorf said.

Another issue is the design, which includes triangular glass panels, an elevated boarding area and a skybridge over International Boulevard — "a little more challenging than some of the stations we have," Fazel said. But the nearby Tukwila Station has many similarities and didn't scare contractors away.

Contractor shortages are occurring nationwide. Three years ago, in a looser market, light-rail bids were mostly below estimates in the Seattle-to-Tukwila corridor. Rising steel costs, contaminated soils and other obstacles have consumed some of the savings.

Sound Transit's next step is to meet with Mowat to understand the numbers and determine what costs are reasonable, Fazel said.

He said that if the problem is solved in the next month or so, Sound Transit could break ground in August and keep on schedule to reach the airport by December 2009.

Mike Lindblom: 206-515-5631.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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Old March 10th, 2007, 06:33 AM   #423
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that kinda sucks...
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Old March 11th, 2007, 05:43 AM   #424
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Aye. I hope that gets sorted out quickly. A delay in the schedule will have impacts in regards to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. I don't think it'll keep people away that are attending, by any means, but it will prove to be an obstacle for those folks that'll be staying in Seattle (Vancouver hotels will be flooded) and fly into Sea-Tac.
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Old March 11th, 2007, 05:13 PM   #425
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No branch of Central Link to West Seattle

Based on Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis's comments in the article at the following link, it appears that officialdom has rejected the idea of a branch of Central Link to West Seattle:

=========================================================

http://www.westseattleherald.com/art...ews/news05.txt

...

An audience member asked if Sound Transit's light rail line might be coming to West Seattle.

"The West Seattle Bridge is not suited to a light-rail configuration," Ceis said.

West Seattleites most likely will have to rely on Metro buses which, under the Rapid Ride program voters approved in the fall, will come by each stop much more frequently, he said.

...
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Old March 11th, 2007, 05:30 PM   #426
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Aww that's too bad. I was hoping they could add some sort of high-capacity transit with a torn down viaduct (if it happened). Hey, so how were they going to get the green line monorail across the bridge?
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Old March 12th, 2007, 12:43 AM   #427
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kub86 View Post
Aww that's too bad. I was hoping they could add some sort of high-capacity transit with a torn down viaduct (if it happened). Hey, so how were they going to get the green line monorail across the bridge?
One of three things I imagine: The bridge is suited to monorail (but not light rail). The bridge is not suited to monorail and this was a component of the misinformation (purposeful or accidental) leading to why the project now defunct. The bridge is not suited to monorail and a separate bridge would have to be built.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine
Based on Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis's comments in the article at the following link, it appears that officialdom has rejected the idea of a branch of Central Link to West Seattle:

=========================================================

http://www.westseattleherald.com/art...ews/news05.txt

...

An audience member asked if Sound Transit's light rail line might be coming to West Seattle.

"The West Seattle Bridge is not suited to a light-rail configuration," Ceis said.

West Seattleites most likely will have to rely on Metro buses which, under the Rapid Ride program voters approved in the fall, will come by each stop much more frequently, he said.
Not to be putting words in Mr. Ceis's mouth, but he didn't say light-rail wouldn't go out there. Perhaps a separate structure would be required. I'd imagine such a project would cost a great deal of money (especially relative to the current ST2 plan) and is probably why it isn't included in ST2. One day perhaps. Or perhaps not. In any case, not soon.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 03:14 AM   #428
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxom92 View Post
One of three things I imagine: The bridge is suited to monorail (but not light rail). The bridge is not suited to monorail and this was a component of the misinformation (purposeful or accidental) leading to why the project now defunct. The bridge is not suited to monorail and a separate bridge would have to be built.

Not to be putting words in Mr. Ceis's mouth, but he didn't say light-rail wouldn't go out there. Perhaps a separate structure would be required. I'd imagine such a project would cost a great deal of money (especially relative to the current ST2 plan) and is probably why it isn't included in ST2. One day perhaps. Or perhaps not. In any case, not soon.
Both Cascadia Monorail (Hitachi) and Team Monorail (Bombardier) prepared bid proposals that featured an elevated monorail guideway along the center of the West Seattle Bridge. The Cascadia Monorail proposal featured a single-beam guideway across the bridge. I don't know if this was driven by weight considerations or if it simply was a way to reduce costs. The Team Monorail proposal featured a dual-beam guideway across the bridge. Team Monorail's train and guideway design were lighter than the Cascadia Monorail design. I don't know if this was a critical difference.

It seems to me unlikely that the weight of the light rail track and trains would make a critical difference for the bridge. I suspect that Mr. Ceis's statement was motivated simply by an unwillingness to lose two motor vehicle lanes to light rail.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 03:30 AM   #429
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Assuming the comment related to an elevated crossing on the bridge, two things come to mind:
I would think that a light rail vehicle (designed for mixed traffic) would be significantly heavier than an exclusive ROW monorail vehicle.
And an elevated LRT guideway is physically larger and would likely be heavier than a monorail beam (i.e. even if both were built as a steel box girder).
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Old March 12th, 2007, 08:11 PM   #430
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Quote:
Originally Posted by officedweller View Post
Assuming the comment related to an elevated crossing on the bridge, two things come to mind:
I would think that a light rail vehicle (designed for mixed traffic) would be significantly heavier than an exclusive ROW monorail vehicle.
And an elevated LRT guideway is physically larger and would likely be heavier than a monorail beam (i.e. even if both were built as a steel box girder).
Neither of those things are true. LRVs are close to the same weight as monorail vehicles, and an elevated LRT guideway is actually not much heavier than an elevated monorail guideway! LRT guideway is hollow. The weight of both guideways has more to do with their ability to carry a loaded train than with their dimensions - monorail guideways are typically solid.

In regards to the bridge - greg_christine, I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that the monorail would have used the existing bridge. The bid documents I saw showed a separate elevated structure; light rail would have the same. Ceis' comment was ill-informed.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 08:15 PM   #431
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Quote:
I'd imagine such a project would cost a great deal of money (especially relative to the current ST2 plan) and is probably why it isn't included in ST2. One day perhaps. Or perhaps not. In any case, not soon.
Sound Transit is charged with projects of regional significance, not local, and they are limited to the rules of subarea equity - Seattle's already getting a huge chunk of the ST2 money. It also doesn't make sense, regionally, to build to West Seattle before building to Everett, Tacoma, Kirkland and Issaquah - much larger destinations.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 11:45 PM   #432
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
Neither of those things are true. LRVs are close to the same weight as monorail vehicles, and an elevated LRT guideway is actually not much heavier than an elevated monorail guideway! LRT guideway is hollow. The weight of both guideways has more to do with their ability to carry a loaded train than with their dimensions - monorail guideways are typically solid.

In regards to the bridge - greg_christine, I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that the monorail would have used the existing bridge. The bid documents I saw showed a separate elevated structure; light rail would have the same. Ceis' comment was ill-informed.
The following figure is from the Cascadia Monorail (Hitachi) proposal. It shows a cross-section of the monorail guideway on the West Seattle Bridge:



The text of the Cascadia Monorail proposal states the following:

"The second water crossing is over the Duwamish Waterway crossing on the West Seattle Bridge. Cascadia Monorail has prepared conceptual plans for strengthening the West Seattle Bridge and then constructing a single-beam guideway atop the bridge deck, with the guideway constructed in a barrier-separated median without any loss of traffic lanes."

The summary of the Team Monorail (Bombardier) proposal that was made public did not feature any figures that showed the guideway on the West Seattle Bridge; however, the text of the document stated that the guideway would be on the West Seattle Bridge. I vaguely recall that the ballot measure that approved the MVET taxes to build the monorail stated a specific alignment for most of the route including the section that was to be built on the West Seattle Bridge. A revote would have been required to build a separate bridge.

In terms of weight per unit length, light rail vehicles are probably similar in weight to the monorail vehicles that were being considered for the Seattle Monorail Project; however, I would be highly dubious of any claim that a light rail viaduct is similar in weight to a set of monorail guideway beams. The deck of a light rail viaduct is about 26 feet wide compared to two monorail beams that are each about 2.5 feet wide. The guideway beams built for the Seattle World's Fair monorail acually are hollow. The following image shows the Seattle World's Fair Monorail under construction:



I do not know if Cascadia Monorail and Team Monorail actually also planned to use hollow guideway beams; however, it would seem to be natural design choice if weight were highly critical as it would be on the West Seattle Bridge. The following photo of construction of the guideway for a Hitachi monorail in Dubai shows that the central portion of the beams are blue rather than the gray of concrete. I suspect that the beams might have a foam core:



Regarding Deputy Mayor Ceis's comment that the West Seattle Bridge is not suitable for light rail, my guess is that he assumed that light rail would be built directly on the bridge deck and that it was a nonstarter because traffic planners were unwilling to give up two motor vehicle traffic lanes.

Last edited by greg_christine; March 13th, 2007 at 12:58 AM.
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Old March 13th, 2007, 03:39 AM   #433
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
The following figure is from the Cascadia Monorail (Hitachi) proposal. It shows a cross-section of the monorail guideway on the West Seattle Bridge:



The text of the Cascadia Monorail proposal states the following:

"The second water crossing is over the Duwamish Waterway crossing on the West Seattle Bridge. Cascadia Monorail has prepared conceptual plans for strengthening the West Seattle Bridge and then constructing a single-beam guideway atop the bridge deck, with the guideway constructed in a barrier-separated median without any loss of traffic lanes."

The summary of the Team Monorail (Bombardier) proposal that was made public did not feature any figures that showed the guideway on the West Seattle Bridge; however, the text of the document stated that the guideway would be on the West Seattle Bridge. I vaguely recall that the ballot measure that approved the MVET taxes to build the monorail stated a specific alignment for most of the route including the section that was to be built on the West Seattle Bridge. A revote would have been required to build a separate bridge.

In terms of weight per unit length, light rail vehicles are probably similar in weight to the monorail vehicles that were being considered for the Seattle Monorail Project; however, I would be highly dubious of any claim that a light rail viaduct is similar in weight to a set of monorail guideway beams. The deck of a light rail viaduct is about 26 feet wide compared to two monorail beams that are each about 2.5 feet wide. The guideway beams built for the Seattle World's Fair monorail acually are hollow. The following image shows the Seattle World's Fair Monorail under construction:



I do not know if Cascadia Monorail and Team Monorail actually also planned to use hollow guideway beams; however, it would seem to be natural design choice if weight were highly critical as it would be on the West Seattle Bridge. The following photo of construction of the guideway for a Hitachi monorail in Dubai shows that the central portion of the beams are blue rather than the gray of concrete. I suspect that the beams might have a foam core:



Regarding Deputy Mayor Ceis's comment that the West Seattle Bridge is not suitable for light rail, my guess is that he assumed that light rail would be built directly on the bridge deck and that it was a nonstarter because traffic planners were unwilling to give up two motor vehicle traffic lanes.
Neither the World's Fair nor the Dubai monorail were built to meet earthquake standards that have to be met today - I don't know that the monorail can get away with hollow columns now.

That's fantastic data, though! I didn't realize they were planning to use the bridge (and wow, I think that's a horrible idea, too). Yeah, I agree then that the monorail as it stands and light rail viaduct are very different in weight.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 02:09 AM   #434
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
Sound Transit is charged with projects of regional significance, not local, and they are limited to the rules of subarea equity - Seattle's already getting a huge chunk of the ST2 money. It also doesn't make sense, regionally, to build to West Seattle before building to Everett, Tacoma, Kirkland and Issaquah - much larger destinations.
I had forgotten about the subarea equity deal. Your reasoning make much more sense.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 09:19 AM   #435
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So to link a few discussion topics together... Has anyone really thought about what effect the new light rail will have on traffic on the Alaskan Way Viaduct and I-5?

If we're expecting 70,000 boardings a day once the university link is completed, couldn't that translate to significantly reduced traffic on both highways?

If we pick an option for the Alaskan Way Viaduct that requires it to be torn up for a couple years, how will that affect ridership? Central link will be coming on line right about the time they're supposed to start tearing stuff up on the waterfront. Couldn't that boost ridership significantly beyond projections?

Interesting thoughts.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 09:26 AM   #436
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I completly agree... I mean 70000 people is a lot of people and getting all of those cars off the road could do wonders for traffic and wonders for transit... On a daily basis you would have people making trips between the airport and downtown and trips between the U-district and downtown... then on occasion you would have games at safco and qwest which would boost ridership on those days... and if highway 99 gets destroyed through downtown that could really boost ridership for a decade or so...
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Old March 14th, 2007, 01:53 PM   #437
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Is it just me? Why do I feel like 22,000 boardings will NOT occur at UW? The station looks like it's in the middle of nowhere...all the residents/transit riders are on Univ Way...where Brooklyn station will be. the UW station area looks auto-centric.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 07:17 PM   #438
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It is a bit auto-centric, but if you've ever been to the u-district during morning or evening rush hour, especially in that area, you're in for a ruttin' good time in a defacto parking lot. If I were going to the University and lived even remotely close to the initial segment, I'd drive into a station and take the train the rest of the way. Traffic is a nightmare up there.

Not to mention when I did go to the Seattle Campus, I ended up going downtown once a quarter for some project, so the train would work for that as well.

And you're right about the special events at Quest and Safeco Fields, but also at Husky Stadium or any other big event held at the UW campus.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 11:14 PM   #439
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Maybe they should fast-track the university link and northgate link so that its coming online soon after the viaduct closes for construction?
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Old March 14th, 2007, 11:17 PM   #440
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Quote:
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Is it just me? Why do I feel like 22,000 boardings will NOT occur at UW? The station looks like it's in the middle of nowhere...all the residents/transit riders are on Univ Way...where Brooklyn station will be. the UW station area looks auto-centric.
Did you ever notice that massive hospital, and those stadia? You're also looking at easy access to the southern half of campus, where Chemistry, CS, EE, ME and other major disciplines live. That station will get you closer to Drumheller Fountain and the buildings around it than Campus Parkway does - and the train will be faster than bus options, so many people will switch to using it even if they have to walk a little farther. This stop, despite the walk for a transfer, will also net commuters to the eastside - it's a lot faster to take the train and walk a few blocks than it is to take the bus on 5 or on 23rd.

Note that residents of the area typically don't use transit (or cars) to access campus - they walk.

A second station will be built at 43rd and Brooklyn in Phase 2 - but we can't get that far in Phase 1.
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