A look to the north over the Kent Des Moines Station and parking garage for light rail on the West Hill of Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

A look to the north over the Kent Des Moines Station and parking garage for light rail on the West Hill of Kent. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

Kent Des Moines Station for light rail nearing completion | Photos

Work also continues on Star Lake Station and parking garages for scheduled 2026 route opening

Two stations and parking garages in Kent are nearing completion as Sound Transit aims for a scheduled 2026 opening of light rail between SeaTac and Federal Way.

The 7.8-mile extension, at a cost of $2.4 billion, will include stations at Kent/Des Moines along Pacific Highway South near Highline College; Star Lake at South 272nd Street in Kent near Interstate 5; and at the Federal Way Transit Center. All three stations add parking.

Work on the Kent Des Moines Station is 82% complete, according to the December 2023 progress report by Sound Transit. The remaining work includes platform and plaza levels, exterior and interior elements, testing and commissioning. Construction on the Kent Des Moines parking garage, with 500 spaces, is 94% done, with finish work and punchlist activities remaining.

Star Lake Station is 66% complete. Extensive work remains on the east/west platform and plaza levels as well as testing and commissioning. Star Lake garage, with 1,100 spaces, is 90% finished, with work remaining on interior and exterior elements.

The Federal Way Downtown Station at South 320th Street is 75% complete, with extensive work to do on interior and exterior elements. The Federal Way garage, with 400 spaces, is 63% finished.

Soil conditions along a section of the light rail extension next to Interstate 5 in Kent is one reason Sound Transit delayed the opening to 2026 from 2024. Crews are placing segments for a long span bridge. The soil conditions were unstable near a wetlands and forced a redesign for a bridge through the area.

The extension generally parallels State Route 99 (aka Pacific Highway South) and I-5, with the route going up from the freeway to the Kent Des Moines Station and then back to I-5 before heading to the Federal Way Downtown Station.

Projected travel times include 42 minutes from Kent Des Moines to downtown Seattle. Projected ridership is 29,000 to 34,000 daily, according to Sound Transit. Service will be every 6 to 8 minutes in peak hours.


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The Kent Des Moines parking garage for light rail passengers. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

The Kent Des Moines parking garage for light rail passengers. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

Kent Des Moines Station, looking to the northwest, for the light rail extension from SeaTac to Federal Way, scheduled to open in 2026. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

Kent Des Moines Station, looking to the northwest, for the light rail extension from SeaTac to Federal Way, scheduled to open in 2026. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

Crews are building a bridge for a portion of the light rail route in Kent along Interstate 5, looking south toward South 272nd Street, due to soil conditions near a wetland. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

Crews are building a bridge for a portion of the light rail route in Kent along Interstate 5, looking south toward South 272nd Street, due to soil conditions near a wetland. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent

A map of the light rail extension with three new stations. COURTESY GRAPHIC, Sound Transit

A map of the light rail extension with three new stations. COURTESY GRAPHIC, Sound Transit

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