Buses to replace Link Light route this weekend

SEATTLE - Starting late Friday night and into the weekend, King County Metro buses will replace Link light rail cars on a certain portion of the route in downtown Seattle. Expect delays and crowded conditions, transit officials said.

Eight stations will be affected on the route and about two dozen buses and 50 drivers will take people station-to-station instead.

Since buses carry fewer people than rail cars, expect crowded conditions, and anywhere between 30-to-60 minute delays to your destination, said Sound Transit officials.

"All the buses that work on a Saturday are going to be out on the street. These ones will be labeled 'Link Shuttle.' They`re free. They're open for anybody who's riding Link light rail. But it means for folks that are going to be coming from UW to Capitol Hill station, need to come up to the surface street, board a bus, to get the rest of the way downtown into SODO station," said Jeff Switzer, King County Metro spokesperson.

The reason for the closure is so that Sound Transit can start building a temporary platform at Pioneer Square station, to eventually connect lines to the Eastside next year. Crews need to shut off power to the overhead electrical lines to do that.

There are other construction projects that could affect your commute this weekend. Westbound SR 520 will be closed between 92nd Avenue and Montlake. This is so WSDOT crews can build a work zone to eventually build new eastbound lanes.

Also this Friday night at 10 p.m. into Saturday morning at 8 a.m., southbound lanes of the SR 99 tunnel will close for routine maintenance. Northbound SR 99 between Spokane Street and the north end of the tunnel will fully close from 11 p.m. Friday to 4 p.m. on Monday.

"There are no special events at Husky Stadium this weekend, the Seahawks are out of town, the Sounders are taking a break before the playoffs. Typically we like to coordinate this work so that we avoid these special events where we know there`s a large crowd, making it to and from those games. So it`s a good weekend to do the work," said Bart Treece, WSDOT spokesperson.

The Link light rail project, work on SR 520 and northbound SR 99 are expected to be completed by the Monday morning commute. However, more closures are expected in the coming weeks.