Sound Transit — Operations and Maintenance Facility East

Bellevue, Washington

Award of Merit

OWNER: Sound Transit

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Hensel Phelps Construction Co.

CONSTRUCTION MANAGER: Cosco Fire Protection Inc.




ARCHITECT: VIA Architecture

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: Karen Kiest Landscape Architects

SUBCONTRACTORS: C3M Power Systems LLC; Elcon Assoc.; Granite Construction Co.; Hermanson Co.; KBA Inc.; McMillen Jacobs; Stacy & Witbeck Inc.; Valley Electric

Despite design changes and a worldwide pandemic, work on Sound Transit’s operations and maintenance facility remained on track.

The $235-million project is a key part of the agency’s plan to expand its light rail network, allowing for the storage and maintenance of 96 vehicles. The project also includes a maintenance of way building as well as roadway work, new sidewalks, a regional sewer line replacement and Sound Transit’s public art program. 
The first challenge faced by the project team was a significant change to the preliminary design. The design-build proposal included a stormwater plan with 800-ft-long drainage trenches designed to use infiltration to minimize the volume of the underground storage tanks. However,  the site’s soil could not support such a use, so the team more than doubled the volume of one of the tanks to 3.2 million gallons. The team worked to expedite design, adjust procurement of vaults and resequence the schedule.

The COVID-19 pandemic struck at a critical juncture for the project. The construction team modified crew shifts to reduce density and added PPE requirements, temporary facility services, sanitation crews and an efficient health screening process. 

OMF East was the only Sound Transit project to continue work throughout the pandemic, and thanks to transparency and teamwork the project was completed without incident.