USDOT to approve $1.4bn for Federal Way light rail extension project


The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has announced its intent to approve $1.4bn for the Sound Transit’s Federal Way Light Rail Extension project in Seattle, Washington.

The Federal Way link extension is a planned 12.5km-long light rail link between Angle Lake Station in SeaTac and the Federal Way Transit Centre in Federal Way. The project also includes the construction of three new stations on the link.

Sound Transit will use the approved $790m grant and $629m low-interest loan for the construction on the project scheduled in early 2020. The project is scheduled for completion by 2024.

The USDOT said that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) sent a full funding grant agreement (FFGA) of $790m for the project to Congress, triggering a 30-day notification period.

Additionally, the USDOT notified its plans to the Congress to grant a $629.5m Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan.

This marks the fourth and final loan under the $1.99bn TIFIA Master Credit Agreement. The Build America Bureau of USDOT signed this agreement in 2016.

Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff said: “A year ago, Sound Transit secured a $1.2 billion FFGA grant for Lynnwood Link. Now, we have secured a commitment from the administration to also fund Federal Way Link thanks to the persistent efforts of our congressional delegation.

“I also want to thank Secretary Chao and Acting Administrator Williams for their support on expanding transit options in our region that will help commuters escape ever-worsening gridlock.”

Kent Mayor Dana Ralph said: "With two new stations in Kent, the Federal Way Link Extension will provide additional transportation options for the region.

"The project will also help implement the revitalization for Kent's West Hill as envisioned by Kent's Midway Subarea Plan."

Sound Transit is planning to expand light rail to the U District, Roosevelt and Northgate by 2021.

Image: The Federal Way link extension project includes construction of three new stations on the link. Photo: courtesy of Sound Transit.

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