Central Link Light Rail

Sound Transit’s Central Link light rail connects downtown Seattle to Tukwila and the city’s airport. 


  • Seattle, Washington, USA


  • Sound Transit

Project Status

  • Opened in 2009

From Downtown to the Airport

The opening of Seattle’s 15-mile Central Link culminated a 20-year campaign to develop rail transit in the Central Puget Sound area - an effort that is continuing with an ambitious 15-year plan for expansion of the region’s public transportation system.  

The first section of Central Link, which opened in July 2009, ran from downtown Seattle to Tukwila. The second section, which extended the line 1.7 miles from Tukwila to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, opened in December 2009, whisking travelers from downtown to the airport in 38 minutes.

Key Numbers

Downtown to Airport
38 minutes

WSP’s Role

WSP USA has been involved in developing Seattle’s public transit system from its beginning. We assisted Sound Transit, the region’s transportation agency, in planning the initial system, served as a member of a joint venture responsible for preliminary engineering of the overall system and provided construction management services for the Beacon Hill Tunnel and the Tukwila elevated segment—two of the most challenging sections of Central Link.   

We also worked with Sound Transit to prepare Sound Transit 2 (ST2), a 15-year plan to expand Seattle’s light rail, commuter rail and bus systems.