Making way for Lynnwood Link Light Rail
Light Rail service to Shoreline is five years in the future, but a significant amount of work needs to occur between now and then. The most visible work to occur over the next year will be removal of trees and understory vegetation on land needed for the tracks, stations, parking garages, related facilities, and construction staging areas within the City.
In Shoreline, approximately 1,100 significant trees will be removed that require replacement under Shoreline’s regulations. Additional non-significant trees, associated understory, and exempt significant trees will also be removed within Shoreline. The majority of these trees are in the I-5 corridor on the east side of the freeway. Project wide (Northgate to Lynnwood), approximately 4,200 significant trees will be removed; however, Sound Transit will plant nearly 20,000 trees along the 8.5 mile-long corridor.
Sound Transit will plant an estimated 3,000 native trees in Shoreline to meet the City’s replacement requirements. Over 1,000 non-native trees will also be planted. Based on preliminary review by the City, Sound Transit will meet or exceed tree replacement numbers, retain at least 30% of the significant trees in the project area, and will replace trees with similar proportions of conifer and deciduous trees as those being removed.
Sound Transit worked with Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the cities along the Lynnwood Link Extension to adjust the project to minimize the tree removals required and to meet the tree replacement requirements of each jurisdiction along the project. Several factors contribute to tree removal that cannot be avoided, the most critical of which is the Vegetation Clear Zone which is a Sound Transit safety standard that minimizes the likelihood that trees and branches will fall onto the train power lines and tracks. Sound Transit is extending the standard three-year plant establishment and maintenance period required by WSDOT - which provides for close, extended care of newly planted trees - by an additional ten years. This 13-year effort is intended to improve the survival rates of trees planted alont the alignment.
Sound Transit Outreach can answer additional questions regarding tree removal and replacement for the Lynnwood Link Extension at (206) 398-5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are currently reviewing the Special Use Permit (SUP) application for the project and questions or comments regarding City code requirements for the project can be directed to the City’s Sound Transit Project Manager Juniper Nammi at (206) 801-2525 or email@example.com. Public testimony can also be made to the Hearing Examiner at the SUP public hearing expected to be scheduled for late March.