The Sound Transit Link Light Rail system is an ongoing light rail mass transit construction project in the greater Seattle region. The Central Link segment runs from downtown Seattle to Sea-Tac International Airport. Planned for completion in 2016, the University Link will run primarily through twin-bored tunnels from downtown Seattle to the University of Washington.
Spread across several miles of varying terrain, this light rail construction program poses numerous technical, staffing, and coordination challenges. Work locations include above-ground elevated rails and stations, busy downtown Seattle streets, underground tunnels, and remote fabrication shops. Different contractors are managing various rail segments, since the Central Link and University Link have been split into smaller contracts. Firm program deadlines and federal funding require on-time completion of each rail segment.
Since 2004, Kleinfelder had provided services—including quality assurance, forensic investigations, and securing international expertise—directly to SoundTransit, playing a major role in keeping the program on schedule. Kleinfelder’s previous work on the Central Link led to its selection as the Quality Assurance and Testing and Inspection team for the University Link segment. Kleinfelder provided periodic oversight of contractor-controlled laboratory, testing, and inspection work. Project demands often required Kleinfelder to rapidly mobilize personnel with little notice to a broad range of locations.
Kleinfelder’s ongoing relationship with Sound Transit brings consistency in approach and responsiveness to this high-visibility, public works program. Successful coordination and partnering with various project contractors has allowed Kleinfelder to help its client meet the completion schedule for this rail project, designed to reach 90% of Puget Sound residents upon completion in 2020.