Construction crews have begun installing the first light rail girders at the future Kent/Des Moines station, which will support the elevated tracks and station platform that Sound Transit Link trains will begin serving in 2024.

The Kent/Des Moines station will be located near S. 240th Street, just west of I-5:

    • Each girder is typically 100 to 115 feet long and weighs between 100,000 and 130,000 lbs.
    • Their I-beam shape is an efficient way to reduce weight while transferring loads from our trains to the columns, which then transfer the load to the ground and foundations that hold up the structure.
    • The girders are too large to be delivered during the day due to oversized load traffic regulations.
    • Crews have also drilled 36 of 121 shafts and placed 25 of 121 columns that will support future elevated tracks and station facilities.
    • Workers are placing as many as six girders per shift and are working at night to avoid blocking daytime traffic and get these large oversized loads delivered.
    • The current work includes placing six girders at a time.
    • Crews have also completed about a quarter of the drilled shafts for constructing the elevated track and station facilities.

“Our work to bring light rail to Federal Way continues to move forward rapidly,” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. “By 2024, the track structures that South King County residents are watching go up will carry thousands of riders each day on a 62-mile rail network, compared to the 22-mile segment we have today. While greatly expanding our region’s mobility, this project will help our region recover from the COVID-19 recession by employing thousands of workers in living wage jobs.”

More information on the Federal Way Link Extension and other Sound Transit expansions is available at https://www.soundtransit.org/system-expansion, or you can join the FWLE Facebook Group to receive timely updates.

Click image below to launch photo gallery (photos courtesy Sound Transit):