Delridge’s RapidRide H Line launch delayed for the third time

(Screengrab from newly updated H Line website)

Another West Seattle transportation-project delay has just been announced. First, as we reported earlier this week, it was an extra year added to the schedule for Sound Transit light rail; today, King County Metro has sent word that the RapidRide H Line won’t launch until 2022, instead of the previously planned 2021. This is actually the third delay – the conversion of Route 120 was originally projected for 2019, then that was pushed to 2020, then to 2021, and now to 2022. Here’s how Metro explains the latest delay:

The revision in the service launch schedule is due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it had on reaching 100% project design. The RapidRide program also was impacted by King County Metro’s budget revenue shortfall and the difficult decision was made to suspend some RapidRide lines at this time. RapidRide H Line remains a priority to Metro and will be fully funded.

As drivers, riders, and pedestrians are well aware, an extensive road-rebuilding/repaving and utility-upgrade project is under way along much of Delridge Way to prepare for the H Line. We’re checking with SDOT – which is leading that part of the project – to see how this will affect that schedule.

ADDED: From SDOT’s project spokesperson Adonis Ducksworth: “Major construction for SDOT’s portion of the Delridge Way SW – RapidRide H Line project is still scheduled to be completed in 2021. We are committed to upgrading the roadway, sidewalks and utilities on Delridge Way SW and we want to limit the duration of construction impacts to the community to the extent possible. King County Metro’s service launch revision does not impact our delivery timeline and we will continue working as quickly and safely as possible.”

8 Replies to "Delridge's RapidRide H Line launch delayed for the third time"

  • AN December 11, 2020 (11:22 am)

    Is there any rhyme or reason for the way they are tearing up Delridge? They are all over the place making nothing but  a huge mess and crappy roads with temporary asphalt patches right down the middle of the road. That patch up by Delridge and Henderson is horrible!  

    • WSB December 11, 2020 (11:59 am)

      The patches are after utility work and will be replaced by repaving.

  • AMD December 11, 2020 (1:13 pm)

    Is this only the third delay?  The first time I heard they were turning the 120 into a Rapid Ride they were talking about having it launch in 2016.  I wonder how much the work stoppages from unidentified underground utilities has made a difference?

    • WSB December 11, 2020 (4:16 pm)

      I don’t have anything earlier. When there was an open house floating the prospect in 2016, we had a brief mention of 2018 – but at the actual event, it was suggested as a 2019 launch.

  • Flivver December 11, 2020 (2:27 pm)

    AMD. I think “convenient excuses” play a MAJOR roll here. Our tax dollars(not)at work!

    • Foop December 12, 2020 (5:00 pm)

      Why do folks always seek out a bogeyman? Large factors this year were probably this lil thing called covid-19. Which impacts local and county ++ budgets, workforce availability, ridership in transit, etc. I’m honestly surprised they announced this so late.

    • David December 15, 2020 (7:47 pm)

      NYC 2002, my ex was working in a video store (remember those?) in Queens. A cop came in with a rental that was a year overdue, and he insisted he shouldn’t be charged a late fee – first because he was a cop, and then because 9/11 kept him from returning it. :-/
      Your mileage may vary on the degree to which COVID is similarly being used as a catch-all excuse. (Then again, maybe it’s an improvement. Usually Seattle govt wouldn’t even bother explaining, they’d just announce it.)

  • eddiew December 16, 2020 (2:37 pm)

    Route 120 improvements have been delayed before.  In 2009, the three executives (e.g., Gov. Gregoire, Exec. Sims, and Mayor Nickels) signed the agreement to implement the deep bore tunnel to replace the SR-99 AWV.  The agreement included a one percent MVET for Metro; it would have funded elevating Route 120 to BRT,  a transit pathway, and electric trolleybus improvements.  Early in the 2009 session, Gregoire backed out of the transit funding; the three executives may not have negotiated with legislative leadership.  Metro local option was part of the county and city legislative priorities between 2009 and 2014, inclusive.  In 2015, the ask shifted to ST3 authorization and it was included in the statewide package expanding highways.  In 2019, the AWV routes went though several changes as the lack of a pathway was obvious.  The Metro local option may be considered later.   ST3 will be reset.   A design issue is the bus-Link transfers in West Seattle.

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