September 24, 2014 - Construction work on the First Hill Streetcar project is complete. Preparations are now underway to begin service along the route. A fleet of six streetcars will support this service, with three to five streetcars in operation on any given day. The streetcars are supplied by Inekon, a Czech company that built the streetcars that have operated on the South Lake Union Line since 2007. Three of the cars are being assembled in the Czech Republic and three are being assembled by a local labor force at Seattle’s First Hill Streetcar Operations and Maintenance Facility.
Delivery of the vehicles is behind schedule, but several vehicles are now nearing completion, with initial deliveries expected in December and the entire fleet expected to be ready for operation in early 2015. Once we have thoroughly tested the system with these new streetcars, we will hold a grand opening event. Be on the lookout for more information in the coming months!
For a complete overview of the First Hill Streetcar project status, streetcar and delivery timelines please see the First Hill Streetcar Testing and Startup Overview.
Now that construction is complete on the project we will no longer issue project updates. To receive future updates, on such subjects as testing, training and operations, please add your name to our email distribution list using the “Stay Connected” box to your right.
View July Substantial Completion Update: Click here
View June 17 Construction Update: Click here
View past Construction Updates: Click here
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These links will take you to the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Weekly update of construction closures in Seattle
Sound Transit Construction to Constrict Traffic Lanes on Broadway
The west side of Broadway between E Denny Way and E Howell Street will remain closed to vehicular traffic until the second week of October in order for Sound Transit to build the underground pedestrian concourse from the west side of Broadway to their Capitol Hill Link Light Rail Station on the east side of the street. During this period, traffic has been shifted to the east side of Broadway and has been reduced to a single lane in each direction. In addition, the northern most block of the Broadway Cycle Track, between Denny Way and Howell Street, is also closed. (The track between Howell and Union remains open.)
In mid-October, the work will shift to the east side of Broadway. Traffic will continue to be limited to a single lane in each direction until the underground concourse construction is completed. Questions about the Sound Transit work can be directed to 206/398-5300 or email at email@example.com.
Cyclists should continue to utilize the bike detour on 12th Avenue.
Click on map to view larger
The City of Seattle is building a modern streetcar network that will provide new urban mobility options, support economic growth and strengthen connections among the places where people live, work and socialize.
The First Hill Streetcar Line will be an important link in the regional transit system. It will connect the diverse and vibrant residential neighborhoods and business districts of Capitol Hill, First Hill, Yesler Terrace, Central Area, Chinatown ID and Pioneer Square, while also serving major medical centers (Harborview, Swedish, and Virginia Mason), institutions of higher learning (Seattle Central College and Seattle University) and major sporting event venues (CenturyLink & Safeco Field).
To view before and after images, click here
First Hill Streetcar Project Scope
This is a major transportation infrastructure project. Construction began in spring 2012 and passenger service is expected to begin in early 2015.
The primary elements of construction have been completed including:
- Removal of the existing roadway
- Installation and/or relocation of existing utilities
- Excavation for the streetcar trackway
- Installation of the streetcar tracks
- Replacement of the street and sections of sidewalk
- Overhead wires and traffic signal work
- Final street restoration and installation of permanent street markings
Testing the streetcar system includes these elements:
- Inspection, testing and adjustments of the overhead electrical system that will power the trains
- Testing of the streetcars
- Training of streetcar operators
- Streetcar operations
What to expect during the testing phase:
- Streetcars operating without passengers for testing and training
- Long-term parking and loading restrictions around work zones
- Lane restrictions
- Full intersection closures on weekends
- Nighttime and weekend work
In November 2008, voters in the Puget Sound area approved "ST2," the mass transit expansion plan for our region. This measure builds on the Sound Move plan approved in 1996 to expand light rail, commuter rail and express bus service in our region. The ST2 Plan includes funding for the First Hill Streetcar connector project, which links employment centers to the light rail system via connections on Capitol Hill and in the International District.