After more than a year of considering two different Capitol Hill endpoints for the First Hill Streetcar, both options still remain on the table. The Broadway Streetcar, formerly the Broadway extension, will run from E Denny to either Roy or Prospect to complete the northern section of the already-built First Hill Streetcar. Either way, city officials say they expect the line to be running by the start of 2017.
According to the Seattle Department of Transportation, planning for the $25 million north Broadway section will be 30% complete by July. At that time SDOT is expected to make a final final decision on the terminus.
The Prospect terminus was the most popular among respondents in a city survey conducted last year, garnering 64% of the non-scientific vote. The two-block extension past Roy would add $10 million onto the $25 million Broadway section and an Aloha option has been tabled. If funding for the line comes through as expected, construction would start at the end of 2015.
The neighborhood will have another chance to weigh in on the streetcar’s final Capitol Hill stop when SDOT holds a June 17th information session at Lowell Elementary.
Last year the Seattle City Council approved plans for the city’s Transportation Benefit District spending, which included $175,000 for planning of the Broadway Streetcar Extension. The money “provides funding to complete formation activities for a Local Improvement District (LID).” CHS reported on the planning for the streetcar’s push for Volunteer Park here.
Meanwhile, testing of the overhead lines powering the First Hill Streetcar is expected to begin soon. Earlier this year, CHS predicted the Pioneer Square-to-E Denny streetcar would open on September 4th, perfectly timed to shuttle Capitol Hill ticket holders to the Seahawks season opener at CenturyLink Field. SDOT’s Catherine Maggio informed us our September prediction was a little ambitious and that a November launch date is more likely.
Sound Transit’s Capitol Hill Station and light rail extension, in the meanwhile, is slated to open for service in early 2016.
For the above ground route, SDOT has completed all major construction on 2.5 mile streetcar line, and is now awaiting delivery of the cars after some failed a fire safety test earlier this year. Additionally, the Broadway bikeway has opened.
The Broadway Streetcar Open House will be Tuesday, June 17 from 6 – 8 p.m at Lowell Elementary School, 1058 E Mercer Street