The parking garage at the future East Link South Bellevue Station will open to bus riders in September, nearly two years before the scheduled opening of East Link light rail, Sound Transit announced last week.

The station is along Bellevue Way SE and Mercer Slough Nature Park, just north of Interstate 90.

ST Express Route 550 riders and King County Metro riders who had to use alternative parking when East Link construction began in 2017 will be able to return to the new garage at the same park-and-ride location, Sound Transit said in a news release. Bus stop and schedule information will be announced later this year.

“Over the next few years, Sound Transit will be delivering 28 light rail stations across 40 new miles of light rail, along with three new bus rapid transit lines,” Claudia Balducci, Sound Transit board member, said in the release. “South Bellevue Park and Ride’s early opening represents one of the very first steps in this major system expansion and demonstrates that, together, we will accomplish big things to make our region more livable and economically competitive via great transit.”

Sound Transit and the City of Bellevue planned for the early opening in contracts for the project. Contractors Shimmick/Parsons Joint Venture and Mass Electric Co. are completing civil and systems work. Work will conclude this summer, with final commissioning and testing activities in the garage, Sound Transit said.

Additional construction will continue in the station and the light rail guideway, but the work is not expected to affect garage and bus operations, the release said.

The garage façade features artwork by Seattle artist Katy Stone. Garage and station designs are by HJH, a joint venture consisting of HNTB, Jacobs, and Mott McDonald, Sound Transit said.