Capitol Hill Station notes | TBMs parking in your secret spot, race bias issues on tunnel crews

  • Tunnel boring machines to take over your secret free parking spot: CHS documented the completion in May of some of the most dramatic and technically challenging work required to create the new light rail line serving Capitol HIll. With their work complete, the machines that bored the set of twin tunnels connecting the two miles between Montlake and Broadway are now ready to be removed from the work site where they emerged on Capitol Hill so the giant 21-foot diameter machines can be transported to their next tunneling adventure. Like much of the work on Sound Transit’s light rail system, moving the giant machines is no quick and easy task — the agency says contractors will be moving components of the TBMs through the end of September. And, we’re sad to tell all of you small government types who might have enjoyed the anarchy of parking that has been the west side of 10th Ave along the Capitol Hill station construction site, contractors will be using that area to stage the removal meaning the sidewalk — and one of the last strips of unregulated parking in central Seattle — will be closed.


The contractor has closed off the west sidewalk and parking area of 10th Ave. E. from E. John Street to E. Denny Way (see map). This area will remain closed until Monday September 24, 2012 as the contractor works on lifting the large parts of the tunnel boring machines (Togo and Balto) from the station box to the west sidewalk of E. John Street for them to be trucked off the site.

The trucking will occur during the nighttime hours on the weekends until September 24th excluding the August 11th and September 1st weekends.  The smaller parts of the TBM could be trucked off during the week.

What to expect during this work:

  • Engine Noise 
  • Parking restrictions along truck route 
  • Possible back up-alarms on the trucks 
  • Street closures
  • Flashing lights

Please contact Wilbert Santos at or (206) 370-5516. For issues that need immediate attention after normal business hours, please call Sound Transit’s toll-free 24-hour Construction Hotline at (888) 298-2395.

  • Bias issues bring changes for tunnel crew hiring: A report by an independent investigator found evidence that Sound Transit’s contractor in charge of the $314 million job of boring the tunnels from Montlake to the Hill exhibited possible bias in personnel decisions for the project. The Seattle Times reports the agency is bringing on an inspector to monitor the situation:

A statistical study of 30 black laborers at the TFK site found they were twice as likely to be dismissed from crews as white laborers, while there was no disparity at the neighboring Capitol Hill-to-Westlake Station tunnel, built by Jay Dee, Seattle-based Frank Coluccio Construction, and Michels.

The Times also notes that women faced issues in working on the tunnels as females were originally barred from deep bore tunnel work by contractors until Sound Transit intervened. Contractors will soon bid on the next segments of light rail tunneling between Montlake and Northgate.

  • It’s Capitol Hill station: The Sound Transit board has spoken. And they agreed with you.
  • ST vs. the Montlake Murmur: Sound Transit met with concerned citizens in the area of the U-Link light rail line connecting downtown to Husky Stadium via Capitol Hill to talk about efforts to reduce possible noise and vibrations along the route once operations begin in 2016. Here’s one take on the July meeting from one of the original Montlake complainants on the issue. We’ve embedded Sound Transit’s presentation on the issues — and possible solutions — below.

ULinkGBN Meeting

One thought on “Capitol Hill Station notes | TBMs parking in your secret spot, race bias issues on tunnel crews

  1. The only truly interesting detail from the presentation is that the predicted start date has changed from “late 2016″ to “September 2016″.