An Update on the Mercer Island Transit Interchange Litigation

Last week, the City of Mercer Island sought narrowly-tailored relief from the King County Superior Court. The City seeks an order prohibiting Sound Transit from constructing a curb cut on the north side of North Mercer Way as a part of the construction of the Mercer Island Transit Interchange. The curb cut is in violation of the 2017 Settlement Agreement between the City and Sound Transit, and Sound Transit admits the curb cut will be used for purposes that the Settlement Agreement prohibits. Sound Transit has proceeded with plans for construction in violation of its obligations under the Settlement Agreement. The City believes it is important that the parties’ disputes over the Settlement Agreement be resolved before the City’s streets are altered in ways the Settlement Agreement does not authorize.

Because the City supports both East Link and the Mercer Island Transit Interchange, the order the City seeks is very narrow. It would allow Sound Transit to proceed with the vast majority of the project, prohibiting only the disputed curb cut until the parties can each have their day in court on the Settlement Agreement dispute - the City is confident in its legal position. The Court will consider the City’s request at a hearing on December 17, 2021.

The City has also learned that Sound Transit has filed a motion for summary judgment and is asking the court to say that it has complied fully with the Settlement Agreement and that the City is in violation of the agreement.

In the years since the Settlement Agreement was approved, Sound Transit repeatedly ignored the City’s rights under that agreement and failed to meet its own obligations under that agreement. Instead of engaging in good faith with the City, it has moved forward without regard for the agreement it reached, rejecting the City’s many attempts to work cooperatively with Sound Transit to find a mutually acceptable resolution.

The City of Mercer Island fully rejects Sound Transit’s arguments and will oppose its motion for summary judgment.

Full court filings and background on the Mercer Island Transit Interchange can be found on Let’s Talk.

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