The new Roosevelt Station of Sound Transit’s Northgate Link Extension is now more than 95 percent complete and quickly becoming a key component to showing that the 4.3-mile light rail extension north of downtown Seattle is on track to serve riders in 2021.

The $1.9 billion project is now more than 90 percent complete, a project that includes multiple tunnels and three new stations. The Roosevelt Station is the first of the three to reach this stage of construction, while the two other new stations — U District and Northgate — are both expected to hit substantial completion in spring 2020. 

“Our progress on the Northgate Link extension reminds commuters that transformative changes to how we get around the Puget Sound are just around the corner,” Peter Rogoff, Sound Transit CEO, says in a statement. “In less than two years, the opening of Northgate Link will herald the beginning of a remarkable three-year stretch that will extend light rail service to Bellevue, Redmond, Lynnwood, Federal Way and the Tacoma Hilltop neighborhood and offer travelers a reliable alternative to soul-crushing highway congestion.”

Soul-crushing, indeed. 

The Roosevelt Station offers an underground stop on the project. Construction on the entire extension began in 2012 and two tunnel-boring machines making way for the light rail tracks hit the Roosevelt Station in 2015, a connection to Northgate and the University District. The new station, then, includes a single-island platform with a surface mezzanine and street entrances. 

The final major installations at the Roosevelt Station — completed over the past several months — included the addition of heavy-duty escalators. Work to complete the station includes systems installation, along with landscaping and architectural finishes. 

One such finish, already installed, offers a new home for a neighborhood icon. The new station features the neon Standard Radio sign that once adorned a building that stood on the site of the new station. The agency restored the sign and reused the building’s unusual Vitrolite glass façade, installed in the new station’s south entrance. 

Sound Transit say the site offers three potential areas for development, including a 254-unit affordable housing project on a 1.2-acre property adjacent to the north of the station building. A public plaza, child-care center and ground-floor retail space will also enhance the transit and neighborhood experience, Sound Transit says. 

The new U District station offers the extension’s other underground station, located in the University District’s main shopping district just north of the University of Washington campus. 

The third station, the Northgate Station, will serve as the system’s northernmost station when it opens. This station, instead of being underground, will be elevated by as much as 45 ft and connect to a larger transit center located just south of the Northgate Mall. 

Sound Transit is simultaneously working to extend light rail north, south, east and west. Northgate Link will be followed in 2023 by the opening of service to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond’s Overlake community. Additional extensions to Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood, Kent/Des Moines, Federal Way and downtown Redmond are planned in 2024.

Follow Tim Newcomb on Twitter at @tdnewcomb